Bicycle Tourism is an Economic Boon for Montana

September 05, 2014

MISSOULA – Bicycle tourism offers economic development potential for small businesses in towns throughout Montana, according to an article published in the latest issue of Montana Business Quarterly. 

In fact, it could be the new phenomenon in the travel industry, according to the article, “Bicycle Tourism: Providing Economic Development Opportunities for Montana,” written by Norma Polovitz Nickerson, a UM research professor and director of the Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research. Graduate students Jake Jorgenson, Meredith Berry, Jane Kwenye, Daniel Kozel and Jessica Schutz were article co-authors.

“It’s definitely an economic boon,” the article reads. “Multiday bicyclists take longer to get anywhere, thereby showering the communities they stop in with outside dollars.”

The Montana Business Quarterly article is based on a study conducted by ITRR in cooperation with the Adventure Cycling Association. The study found that bicycle travelers spend an average of $75 per person per day and stay eight nights or more in the state. In contrast, the average 2013 nonresident vacationer during July, August and September spent $69 per person per day and stayed six nights in the state.

Other articles in the summer issue of the Montana Business Quarterly include:

  • A survey of Montana manufacturers with accompanying sidebars on Headframe Spirits in Butte, ATK Sporting Group in Manhattan and Blue Marble Biomaterials in Missoula.
  • A look at the “tight oil” revolution in Montana.
  • An article about early education investment.

The Montana Business Quarterly is published by the University of Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research. Annual subscriptions are available for $35. For more information or to subscribe, go to or call 406-243-5113.


Contact: Shannon Furniss, editor, Montana Business Quarterly, UM Bureau of Business and Economic Research, 406-243-5113,