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Scott Swanson, Co-Owner of the Sonoran Desert RV Park, will be the guest speaker at the Gila Bend Chamber of Commerce monthly meeting on August 10th. He will be presenting his Economic Impact Study on how his RV Park has financially impacted the Town of Gila Bend this past year as well as the past 5-years they have been in business in Gila Bend. Swanson hired a Consulting Company which specializes in economic development; data collection and analysis; impact and market studies, among other areas of expertise to conduct a thorough research on his business financials, taxes, and his guest’s local spending within Gila Bend.
“I felt it necessary for my own knowledge as a business owner to know how a business like mine impacts a town or city in which the business is located,” said Scott Swanson, “I hope my success and desire to open another RV Park in Gila Bend not only continues to benefit our Town, but will also attract more RV Parks, more snowbirds, and more overnighters to continue to leave their dollars in our local economy.”
The Sonoran Desert RV Park had over 3,080 RV’s enter their gates between June 1, 2020 and June 1, 2021, with overnight traffic spending between 1-28 nights and over 130 RV’s staying anywhere between 1-12 months, which are the “Snowbirds” or “Monthly” guests. Combining all nights they stayed, the total is an impressive 24,039 nights. These numbers are down from prior years due to the pandemic. With an average of 2 persons per RV, that is over 6,160 people that potentially spend money in Gila Bend. Since purchasing this park in 2015, there have been an estimated 30,000 guests staying and spending time and money in Gila Bend.
An economic impact model was utilized to estimate the impacts generated by the spending of monies from the RV Park’s capital improvements, operations, and the RV Park’s guests in the Town of Gila Bend and the result of these initial monies being spent in town, which is called a Direct Impact, create additional effects in the economy known as a multiplier or ripple effect (re-spending of revenues); whereas the demand for these town services create additional jobs and spending, and known as the Indirect Impact, and then with more supplies needed, those vendor/suppliers that come into town create additional jobs and spending, this is known as the Induced Impact. Combining the effects of these three Impacts together sums to the total economic activity generated by initial spending; this is known as the total Economic Output. The Sonoran Desert RV Park’s estimated Economic Output within Gila Bend for June 2020 – June 2021 totaled $1.1M; and over the past 5.75 years combined, totaled $7.7M. However, the impact of the RV Park goes beyond just the town’s limits. If the impact of the RV Park includes the surrounding communities such as Buckeye and the Phoenix area, the total estimated Combined Economic Output for June 2020 – June 2021 totals $6.9M; and over the past 5.75 years totals $36.8M.
“I’m sharing these figures with the community so they can see how important our guests are to Gila Bend. Not just from my business, but all guests and visitors at our hotels, restaurants, stores, and gas stations. I understand there are businesses here in Town that bring much more revenue to the table than us, but I am just showing our slice of the pie,” Scott Swanson said, adding “The timing of my report is also important because getting wind, both literally and figuratively, of a possible Hickman’s Family Farms (Cage Free) Complex [egg farm] on Old Hwy 80 at mile marker 6 (per their sign at this location) will not be good for the quality of life for our Town. I am not going to elaborate until I have further information and facts, however, I do know I would hate to see our Town go through a repeat performance as the Tonopah Community went through and continues to since 2014. Saddle Mountain RV Park sadly shut down amongst all the issues. We actually have a few guests from that park that moved here to my park. If the possibility of the stench and flies can reach anywhere in our Town, I can assure you, my guests are so mobile, they will move on to cleaner air. I certainly do not want to lose my invested money in our beautiful RV Park, and I do not think the Town would want to lose the revenue we generate as well as the potential for more RV Parks and those businesses that support the RV industry; let alone all of us in Town having to live and breathe within such proximity of such odor. We, the Town residents, need to be concerned with all potential businesses that are scouting our Town or surrounding area for any business that could threaten our investments, whether it be our businesses or our homes, but especially impacting our quality of life.”
If you would like to hear more from Scott Swanson about the Sonoran Desert RV Park’s Economic Impact Study, the Gila Bend Chamber of Commerce Monthly Meeting will be held August 10th.