Spokane Airports had a $754 million economic impact on Spokane and Kootenai counties in 2013, Eastern Washington University researchers say in a recently completed study.
EWU’s Institute for Public Policy and Economic Analysis conducted the study.
“Spokane Airports impact many different sectors, including eating and drinking establishments, real estate offices, the health care industry and service providers to buildings,” says D. Patrick Jones, the executive director of the institute.
The Spokane Airports include the Spokane International Airport, the Airport Business Park, and Felts Field.
The institute used a variety of data sources to measure economic activity, including Spokane Airports’ overall operations budget, surveys on visitor spending, and airport tenant employment, Jones says.
The report says $246.3 million was spent by visitors in the two counties. The breakdown of expenditures shows that of visitor dollars to the region, 35 percent was spent on lodging, 29 percent on food and beverage, 16 percent on local transportation, 14 percent on shopping, and 6 percent in the category of recreation and other.
While the airlines and their contract firms are the main driver of economic activity, airport sales in 2013 were driven strongly by the more than 735,000 visitors—or about half of all passengers boarding an airplane there, says the report.
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