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Preservation benefits the economy of Colorado, USA

February 6, 2012 3 comments

Last week the Colorado Historical Foundation and History Colorado released a major report on the economic impacts of historic preservation in the U.S. State of Colorado.  The report is entitled The Economic Power of Heritage and Place:  How Historic Preservation is Building a Sustainable Future in Colorado. Key findings of the report include:

  • Since 1981, historic preservation projects in Colorado have created nearly 35,000 jobs and generated approximately $2.5 billion in direct and indirect economic impacts to Colorado’s economy.
  • Every $1 million spent on the preservation of buildings in Colorado generates approximately 32 new jobs.
  • Historic preservation projects help to enhance cultural vitality and identity, which in turn works to attract tourists and inspire community-based volunteerism.
  • Environmental sustainability goals can be incorporated into historic preservation practices.
The report provides a welcome quantitative analysis of heritage economics within one state. The report is in two parts:  a  summary report and a technical report.  In the report, historic preservation is defined as the rehabilitation of historic buildings, heritage tourism, and statewide economic development programs based on heritage. Unfortunately, it does not address other sectors of the heritage industry.

 
Additionally, for comparison, there is also a relatively new (2010) update to the 2002 report entitled Economic Impacts of Historic Preservation in Florida published by the Florida Department of State, Division of Historical Resources with the assistance of the Florida Historical Commission. Both the Colorado and Florida reports substantiate and quantify the fact that historic preservation makes economic sense.

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