PROJECT DESCRIPTION

SCOPE:

All data collection and analysis are intended as exploratory research and a basis for further study. This report is not intended to be a comprehensive evaluation of either the “National Scenic Byway” brand or its associated individual byway brands, and it was not within the scope of this project to determine the worth or dollar value of these brands for present value or accumulated worth over time. To do this we recommend a more extensive study utilizing additional methods such as focus groups, targeted measurement, and a longer period of study with cooperation from local byway organizations.


STUDY DESIGN:

This study was conducted in two sections. In Section 1 we collected primary data using a survey designed to explore respondents’ byway awareness levels and to determine what amenities and activities along the byway consumers find useful. The survey was designed to gain an understanding of consumer attitudes and feelings about eight National Scenic Byways in Colorado. The same survey instrument was used for all eight National Scenic Byways over three-day periods during high volume weekends in July and August.

Section 2 contains a report of secondary data.

Section I, THE SURVEY OF SCENIC BYWAY TRAVELERS:

In this section, we focused on the eight byways and areas immediately surrounding byway corridors. The eight byways are: Gold Belt Tour Scenic and Historic Byway, Frontier Pathways Scenic and Historic Byway, Dinosaur Diamond Scenic and Historic Byway, Top of the Rockies Scenic and Historic Byway, Trail Ridge Road/Beaver Meadows Road Scenic and Historic Byway, Grand Mesa Scenic and Historic Byway, San Juan Skyway Scenic and Historic Byway and Santa Fe Trail Scenic and Historic Byway. The surveys were exploratory in nature and began to help us investigate brand awareness levels, general attitudes toward designated National Scenic Byways and their features, and reasons why people were traveling the byways. (Information about each of the byways can be found in the Appendices.)

TIME PERIOD

Data for the survey were collected from July 17th through August 25th, 2003, during the peak traveling season for the majority of the byways. Some of the byways have very low travel rates during other times of the year, and we felt that the risk of bias – of collecting survey data only in one season -- was acceptable. Crews of two or more interviewers visited each byway for three days. Each byway was visited on the same days of the week: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

LOCATION

We chose survey locations with help from local byway groups and with input from community officials. We did not feel it would be safe or effective to stop traffic, and so we selected natural stopping places where people would want to stay for a little while. The vast majority of the locations we finally chose consisted of visitor centers, State Welcome Centers, sites of interest, and large pull -off areas.

THE SURVEY INSTRUMENT

As commissioned, we used a survey instrument designed by America’s Byways Resource Center to screen out local residents who were using the byway as a regular means of travel for the purposes of commuting and everyday pursuits. The survey instrument itself was designed to have two parts.

METHODOLOGY

The first part of the survey was a written questionnaire that was read to respondents by interviewers. Interviewers read each question and possible responses, and then filled in the response categories on copies of the survey. The survey solicited information about how respondents found out about the byway, about respondents’ use of the byway, and about their recognition of byway status. (See the Appendices for copies of surveys and data.)
Web Survey

This second part of the survey was web-based, and this questionnaire took a deeper look into spending habits and specific recreational activities. The web survey solicited more information about the respondents’ trip as a whole, including visits to places outside of the designated National Scenic Byway study areas. Respondents who consented to do the web survey and who gave an email address were contacted to complete the web-based survey.

Respondents were sent an email with the web site address, and they were guided through the survey, which was hosted by a third party service. The “electronic” survey took about 5 to 10 minutes to complete and was self-administered. At the end of the survey respondents were offered a $5 gas certificate as a thank you for completing the survey.

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