Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

October 09, 2014

Chris Steber
Taconic Region Public Relations Coordinator
(845) 889-3880

State Parks Announces Historic Great Estates Provide $65 Million in Economic Benefits for Dutchess County

(Staatsburg, NY) The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) today announced that New York's historic "Great Estates Region" brought approximately $65 million in economic benefits to Dutchess County, according to a new study.

The study, "The Economic Importance of the Great Estates Historic Sites & Parks," focuses on the positive economic impacts that 12 federal, state and private nonprofit historic sites and parks bring to Dutchess County and other parts of the Hudson River Valley region. Expanding the picture beyond Dutchess County's borders, the study shows that in 2012, nearly 1.7 million paid visitors came to the region's historic sites, spending about $60 million in the area, including $47 million from non-local visitors. The study, which was organized by the Taconic Region of State Parks, was completed pro-bono by Urbanomics, Inc., a Manhattan-based consulting firm.

"The Hudson Valley's historic sites have played an influential role in our nation's past and have inspired and educated the millions who come to visit them in the present day," said Linda Cooper, Regional Director of Taconic State Parks and Historic Sites. "Thanks to the generous time and resources given by Urbanomics, Inc., we know that these Great Estates truly are - and will continue to be - one of the region's greatest assets."

The area that the study focused on - the "Great Estates" region - refers to the following sites:

  • Clermont State Historic Site, Germantown
  • Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site (Val-Kill), Hyde Park
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site, Hyde Park
  • Locust Grove Estate, Poughkeepsie
  • Mills-Norrie State Park, Staatsburg
  • Montgomery Place, Annandale-on-Hudson
  • Olana State Historic Site, Hudson
  • Staatsburgh State Historic Site, Staatsburg
  • Thomas Cole National Historic Site, Catskill
  • Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site, Hyde Park
  • Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park, Poughkeepsie/Highland
  • Wilderstein Historic Site, Rhinebeck

To view the full report, visit: Statistics from the study include:

The Direct Effect:

  • In 2012, total revenues of the Great Estates amounted to $14.1 million, of which $7.8 million was earned by national and state historic sites and $6.3 million by the private nonprofit sites and Friends groups of SHSs;
  • 222 full- and part-time workers were employed by the Great Estates and support groups at a total compensation of $9 million in 2012;
  • Between 2010 and 2012, a tenfold increase in capital expenditures occurred among the Great Estates as investment in the Walkway and other sites topped $5.5 million annually; and
  • In 2012, visitors to the Great Estates spent roughly $60 million in the local gateway area, $47 million of which was spent by nonlocal visitors traveling mostly on a daily basis from outside the area.

The Total Effect:

  • The total impact of employee compensation by Great Estates and support groups in 2012 generated $20 million in business revenues in the local economy as a consequence of strong ripple effects that triggered $1.21 in additional revenues for every $1 spent;
  • Non-salary operational expenditures of $3.7 million generated $5.6 million in gross output of the local economy, stimulating production and consumption in such sectors as real estate services, electric power generation and transmission, building services and construction;
  • $5.5 million of capital investment by the Great Estates and their support groups in 2012 had an $8.8 million impact on the economy, benefiting such sectors as architectural and engineering services, mining and stone quarrying, financial services, real estate, and offices of physicians, dentists and health care practitioners;
  • The $47.5 million of spending by non-local and overnight visitors to the Great Estates in 2012 directly supported 392 jobs, $9.3 million in labor income, $15.4 million in value added, and $24.7 million in business revenues, excluding the cost of goods on retail sales. As an indirect and induced effect, this spending supported an additional 101 jobs, $4 million in labor income, $8.9 million in value added and $13.7 million in business output, for a revenue multiplier of 1.56; and
  • Collectively, the four measureable economic benefits of the twelve Great Estates and their support groups amounted to a $65 million positive effect on the Dutchess County economy. This, in turn, generated roughly $2 million in local sales tax revenues for Dutchess County.