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Regional Economic Benefit

As a totally new type of resource-based recreation development, Broughton Landing will attract new visitors without adversely impacting nearby communities like White Salmon and Bingen. 

Background on SE Group’s Economics’ Analysis

In the fall of 2005, following a series of focus groups, an Advisory Committee was convened to plan redevelopment for the old lumber mill site.  One key concern raised by members of the project Advisory Committee at the October 24 meeting was potential conflict with the second purpose of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Act (PUBLIC LAW 99-663-NOV. 17, 1986). The Scenic Area Act gives clear direction for commercial development in the Gorge: it is to be encouraged to locate within the 13 Urban Areas identified by Congress. The Act directs the Gorge Commission to "protect and support the economy of the Columbia River Gorge area by encouraging growth to occur in existing urban areas and by allowing future economic development in a manner that is consistent with" protecting and enhancing scenic, cultural, recreational, and natural resources [Section 3(2)].

To address this concern, SE GROUP evaluated potential economic impacts that development of Broughton Landing could have on the Gorge and its existing urban areas and businesses.  As a result, this report focused on the existing nearby Urban Areas of White Salmon and Bingen, Washington and Hood River, Oregon.

Like all consultants, SE Group uses the terminology and technical jargon of the industry it serves.  As a resort planning and design firm primarily serving the resort real estate development industry, SE Group’s report contains terms like “residential units”.  In the context of this report, the term “residential unit” means any unit of overnight accommodation that can be sold to buyers and rented as short-term accommodations by the resort’s operator to resort guests.  This term also applies to fractionally-owned units and even condo hotel units.

The report determined that Broughton Landing would have positive effects on tourism and visitation to the general area.  As a totally new type of resource-based recreation development for the Gorge, the report concluded Broughton Landing will attract new visitors domestically and internationally without adversely impacting nearby communities like White Salmon and Bingen. According to the report, 288 construction jobs with a combined payroll of $30 million would be created during construction. This will be followed by 60 permanent jobs with annual property and lodging tax contributions well over $1 million and an annual influx to the local economy of nearly $8 million of visitor spending. SE Group’s Economic Impact Analysis report can be found here.

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