Did you ever wonder how many visitors we get on the byway on any particular day, or week, or month? How do we relate that to amount of money a visitor spends? How do we define a visitor? How important is the Byway to our local economy? These are all very important questions as you and I consider the value of our time as we spend volunteering for the Mohawk Towpath Scenic Byway. Is our time really worth about $30 or is it worth more? Do we get a “return on this investment?”

Local professionals visited Lock 4 in 2009.

Since the pandemic outbreak it has been interesting to count the number of cars in the parking lot of various sites along Riverview Road and in particular the various states represented by the license plates or tags. Are these numbers significant when you consider the numbers if bicyclists that are on the Towpath Trail who may have biked here or after parking at a remote location.

Are the statistics for the calls to the self-guided cell phone based tour service significant, since someone could be calling from his location, for example, in Phoenix, AZ just for curiosity. But he or she might be planning a vacation.

“…well promoted Byways that feature heritage and cultural locations along the roadway giving visitors plenty of place to visit and spend money, complimented with destination distinctive accommodations and local cuisine, can feasibly generate between $250,000 and $450,000 per mile, per year in visitor spending.” – Dr. Maree Forbes, National Travel Center.

I say our volunteer time is worth a lot more than $30 per hour! Many thanks for your help during the year.