Friday, June 28, 2013

Study shows economic development value of historic preservation

Preserving historic buildings and sites creates jobs and increases property values, according to a study released Monday by the Utah Heritage Foundation.

The study, conducted by Washington, D.C., real estate and economic development consulting firm PlaceEconomics, found that 7,313 jobs were created annually directly or indirectly by the heritage portion of Utah’s tourism industry. In addition, 4,969 total jobs were created between 1990 and 2012 using federal or state historic tax credits, according to the report.

Sixty-two heritage sites and events were visited and evaluated between November 2012 and June of this year for the study. Based on 2012 data, those sites attracted more than 7.2 million visitors annually and show visitors spending nearly $400 million a year.

Using data from an econometric model called Implan, the study indicates that for every $1 million invested in rehabilitating historic buildings in Utah, 17.7 direct and indirect jobs are created, resulting in $850,554 in direct and indirect salary and wages. The $1 million also generates almost $100,000 in economic activity elsewhere in the economy, as well as $34,217 in state sales tax and indirect business tax, according to the study.

Utah Heritage Foundation executive director Kirk Huffaker said the complete 24-page report will be available next month. Deseret News

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