Garvan Woodland Gardens gives a $5.8 million annual boost to the state’s economy, a University of Arkansas study commissioned by the gardens found.
Of that, about $5.3 million is felt in Garland County and Hot Springs, concludes the report, which was conducted by the Sam M. Walton College of Business’ Center for Business and Economic Research Director Kathy Deck and her staff in October.
The figures are based on the construction and operation dollars spent by the gardens in one year; the effect on businesses working for and supplying the gardens; the money spent by visitors to the gardens and to Hot Springs; and the 60 full-time jobs created both at the gardens and by related businesses.
Every dollar spent in connection with the gardens has an economic impact of $1.78 in Garland County and $1.82 in the state, the report finds.
The gardens generate close to $283,000 in state and local taxes, most of that in Garland County, the study also concludes.
Most visitors, about 73 percent, arrive from within Arkansas; 19.5 percent come from Texas or other neighboring states; and nearly 8 percent are tourists from elsewhere, the study found.
Garvan Woodland Gardens is a public, 210-acre botanical garden, operated as an autonomous department of UA’s Fay Jones School of Architecture. The gardens also receive support from the state Legislature, the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, private donors, and 2,776 members, the gardens said in a statement.