by Rick Cooper
The Visitor Center at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, Oregon, generates more than 10 times as much as it costs to operate, according to a new report by Bruce Sorte, an Extension economist with Oregon State University’s Department of Applied Economics.
The total annual cost to operate the Visitor Center is $460,000 in 2017 dollars. As estimated in this report, that $460,000 generates more than 10 times as much in economic effects, with $5.4 million in income, $9.7 million in sales, and 133 jobs for Lincoln County. Statewide, the Visitor Center generates $7.6 million in income, $13.2 million in sales, and 156 jobs.
Sorte said in the report that he used data from two types of surveys and the IMPLAN (IMpact analysis for PLANning) input-output model to estimate the annual economic contributions.
The Visitor Center, which is operated by Oregon Sea Grant, is supported primarily with federal and OSU funds, along with some donations from the approximately 150,000 visitors it attracts annually. Thirty-nine percent of visitors surveyed indicated that half or more of their reason for coming to the Oregon coast was to visit the Visitor Center. The percentage of visitors citing the Visitor Center as their reason for traveling to Lincoln County was the same.
The report, Economic Linkages and Impact Analysis for the Oregon Sea Grant-Operated Visitor Center at the Hatfield Marine Science Center, is available for free download here.
The Visitor Center has been undergoing extensive remodeling since early December and will partially reopen for the OSU150 Sea Grant Festival on Saturday, Feb. 17., from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Its regular hours after that will be 10 to 4 Thursday-Monday.