Economic and Societal Impact of Recreational Lake Activities: A Case Study of Guntersville Lake in Alabama
This research examines the relationship between economic impact and a larger societal impact through recreational activity on Guntersville Lake in Alabama. Economic variables are measured in producing economic impact within two counties where the lake is located and the larger region of contiguous counties. A metric for societal impact is derived from UN Human Development Index and recreational spending for 2013, 2018, and 2023 for these two geographic areas and state of Alabama. The model adds to the literature by examining 1) if a relationship exists between economic impact and societal impact, and 2) that a model for measurement can be developed for county-level observations. Results indicate that a positive association exists between economic and societal impact, but the results are less conclusive when adjusted for risk. The model has myriad application in local and regional observations, and is especially useful in sensitivity analyses between spending patterns and output.