Measuring the Market in Resort and Recreation Communities

Warren A. Brown, Cornell University

To estimate consumer demand for a location, a standard approach is to characterize the population living within the trade area defined by a series of concentric rings. When the “usual place of residence” for customers is located within those rings then geo-demographic segmentation data based on decennial census characteristics are used. However, when the market is composed of persons with a “usual place of residence” elsewhere, developing consumer profiles is difficult. This paper presents three approaches used in three different communities to measure such elusive markets. These markets are for day visitors, overnight visitors and seasonal residents. In each case we used individual address information to geocode and characterize the consumers by geodemographic segment. The data sources were an intercept interview with day visitors, inquiries for lodging and attractions information via a website and 800 number, and local property tax records to identify home addresses for non-resident property owners.

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Presented in Session 122: Business Demography