DENVER — Colorado’s 26 scenic and historic byways have a nearly $800 million annual economic impact, according to data released by the Colorado Department of Transportation.
The Colorado Byways Economic Data Analysis released in November found from 2009 to 2014, visitor spending on Colorado’s byways generated an estimated $4.8 billion and supported nearly 4,000 jobs throughout the state. The Mount Evans Scenic Byway accounted for about a quarter of all impacts during the five-year study period.
Today marks the 25th anniversary of the America Byways program signed into law by former President George H.W. Bush in 1991.
Colorado has more byways in the program than any other state. America’s Byways is the national collection of 150 distinct and diverse roads designated by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation.
“Colorado’s scenic and historic byways continue to be very popular and contribute significantly to regional and state economies,” said Lenore Bates, coordinator of Colorado Scenic Byways. “More than just suggested road trips, Colorado byways are a catalyst for the preservation of Colorado’s culture, history and natural wonder.”
Recent federal research shows that international visitors in particular are seeking out scenic byways because of their interest in the true “American road” experience, according to the Federal Highway Administration.