KWRRI Research Reports


Recreation visitation to two Kentucky reservoirs (Rough River and Dewey) constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was studied to develop mathematical expressions for estimating numbers of visitors and recreation benefits. Regression analysis was used to relate characteristics of 168 origin areas (120 Kentucky counties, the District of Columbia, and the remaining states excluding Hawaii and Alaska) to visitation from that area to Rough River Reservoir. The resulting equations were then applied to Dewey to test their generality. Good results were obtained when only air distance and population were used as the independent variables. Correlations including the age and income of the population, urbanization, highway quality, and competition from other reservoirs did not significantly improve the results for Rough River and resulted in a worse correlation when applied to Dewey.

Recreation benefits from the two reservoirs were estimated from a demand curve where the cost of effective travel distance was used to estimate price and the regression equation was used to estimate visitation. The effective or out-of-the-way distance (as contrasted with total distance) to the reservoir was estimated from collected data. The area under the demand curve equals the resulting benefits associated with the origin area and attributed to the reservoir.

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Funding Information

"The Analysis of Reservoir Recreation Benefits" is based on research performed as part of a project entitled "The Economic Impact of Flood Control Reservoirs" (OWRR Project No. A-006-KY) sponsored by the University of Kentucky Water Resources Institute and supported in part by funds provided by the United States Department of the Interior as authorized under the Water Resources Research Act of 1964, Public Law 88-379.