Study: Bike industry generates $90M for Portland economy

Study: Bike industry generates $90M for Portland economy

PORTLAND, Ore. - Biketown. Cycle City. Spokeville.

Whatever you want to call Portland, it's clear that cycling has a strong hold on the city.

And a new report shows that the economic impact of the bicycle industry in Portland has grown significantly in recent years - to roughly $90 million.

That is a lot of custom bicycles sold, bike repairs made and bike shorts bought. It also includes an estimate of the money spent on lodging, food and registration fees by people drawn to the city for rides and bike events.

The $90 million figure is up from an estimated $63 million tallied during a similar study two years ago.

The results of the study, conducted by consulting firm Alta Planning and Design, were first reported on BikePortland.org

Here's how the new figures break down:

The report shows:

  • Between 850 and 1,150 jobs are related to the bicycle economy in Portland
  • The city is home to nearly 4,000 annual races, rides, events and tours, which is equivalent to about one ride every 27 minutes. That is up from 2,100 in 2006.
  • The number of companies building bicycles by hand in the city has grown from 5 to 17.

In recent years, two international high-end cycling apparel companies have also chosen to make Portland their U.S. headquarters. London-based Rapha Racing Ltd. moved in February while Italian-based Castelli made the move in 2005.

The study said the fastest growing sector of the bike industry in the city is manufacturing and distribution. 

The report only estimates direct bicycle-related business activity in Portland such as gross revenues. It does not, for example, factor in the increasing number of businesses turning to bikes as delivery vehicles, the report authors said.

READ THE STUDY RESULTS

So do you think Portland's bike friendly policies are helping boost the local economy? Do you think the bike industry will continue to grow here or is a passing fad? Leave your comments below: