2017 Oregon Brewers Festival Generates $23.9 Million for Local Economy

A recently completed study estimates the economic impact of the 2017 Oregon Brewers Festival (OBF) at $23.9 million.

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Beckie, Bailey, and I at #OBF2017

Jeff Dense, professor of political science and craft beer studies at Eastern Oregon University, and a team of students administered 908 on-site interviews between July 26 and July 29, 2017.

The study utilized IMPLAN (IMpact Analysis for PLANning) data and software package to estimate the economic impact of the Oregon Brewers Festival on Multnomah County. The 2017 OBF generated an estimated $15.3 million in direct, $4.4 million in indirect (additional input purchases made by local businesses) and $4.1 million in induced (expenditures by employees from wages paid by companies in direct contact with tourists) economic impact. The $23.9 million economic impact for the 2017 Oregon Brewers Festival constituted a 18% decrease from the 2016 edition of the event which can be attributed to a 15% decrease in total attendance.

Respondents were queried on a range of demographic factors, along with estimates of expenditures in tourism-related categories, including transportation, lodging, meals, gasoline purchases, non-beer related recreation, beer purchased to take home, expenditures at the festival grounds and retail purchases.

Two of the most significant findings unearthed by the study are the number of women (44.2%) attending the 2017 Oregon Brewers Festival, along with a precipitous decline (38%) in lodging expenditures by OBF attendees, despite a 6% increase in the percentage of out-of-town visitors.

“Women are the key to the future of the craft beer industry,” Dense said, adding “The lodging industry should take heed to the increasing number of cost conscious visitors who are availing themselves of the vacation rental lodging market and staying with family and friends while attending craft beer festivals and other community events in Portland.”

Other findings of the study include:

  • Visiting OBF patrons spent an average of $532.
  • Nearly half (48.7%) of attendees were out-of-town visitors.
  • Visitors from Washington (9.9%) and California (9.7%) were highly prevalent at OBF.
  • Food and drink ($6.9 million) accounted for the largest share of OBF patron expenditures, followed by the lodging industry ($5.9 million).
  • Half (47.2%) of patrons were attending OBF for either the first or second time.
  • OBF generated $1.3 million in indirect business taxes for state and local government.

Beckie, Bailey, and I at #OBF2017 but like seriously having fun.

ABOUT THE OREGON BREWERS FESTIVAL
Founded in 1988, the Oregon Brewers Festival is one of the longest running beer festivals in the country. The event annually draws tens of thousands to Waterfront Park in downtown Portland to celebrate independent craft beer. The Oregon Brewers Festival always includes the last full weekend of  July; next year’s dates are July 26 to July 29, 2018. Learn more at OregonBrewFest.com or follow @OregonBrewfest on social media.

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