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How does tourism in Boulder affect our quality of life?

To understand the perceptions and priorities of Boulder residents and business owners, the Boulder Convention and Visitors Bureau and Downtown Boulder Partnership commissioned a survey of more than 700 residents with questions regarding quality of life. The survey was conducted by RRC Associates in June and July of 2019, with questions on subjects such as tourism, special events, attractions, downtown and traffic/congestion.

The key takeaways? Most residents view visitors favorably.
  • 80% of residents agree that visitors benefit the local economy
  • They agree that visitor taxes benefit the community
  • They acknowledge better restaurants, shopping and culture because of visitor spending
  • Most respondents stated that there are too few or the right number of events
  • Few residents say visitors disrupt their quality of life
"I actually don't go to festivals, but other people like them. I really like sporting events, outdoor activity, and like to support runners, triathletes, etc. I am willing to live with pulses in traffic and CU activities and events since it helps Boulder be vibrant and interesting.”
— Resident Comment (see more in the survey results below)


Downtown businesses say without tourist sales:
  • 69% of restaurants say their business would fail
  • 44% of retailers say their business would fail
  • 34% say their business would suffer but survive
  • 9% say their business would be fine

While there are tradeoffs, the overall feeling is that a well-managed tourist economy is integral to Boulder’s economic health and cultural vibrancy.