Student Research

Student Research Economic Impact Summaries

Under CERPA's Undergraduate Research Scholars  Program, exceptionally capable and well-motivated students have an opportunity to participate in all phases of social, economic and policy research under the supervision of a faculty advisor. Here is a sample of one-page summaries from recent student research projects:

2021 Beech Mountain Economic Impact Trail Study

The 2021 Beech Mountain Economic Impact Trail Study was conducted between June 1, 2021 and September 6, 2021. A team of four students from the Walker College of Business at Appalachian State University served as survey enumerators.

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2023 Blue Ridge Brutal

The Blue Ridge Brutal (BRB) is a long distance road bike ride. The start and finish point isthe Ashe Civic Center in West Jefferson, North Carolina. There are 100, 75 and 57 mile ride options and each travels through some of the most beautiful scenery in North Carolina. All riders spend at least 20 miles on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

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2022 Blood Sweat and Gears

Blood Sweat and Gears (BSG) is a demanding long distance road bike ride with a start and finish point in Valle Crucis, North Carolina. The BSG offers riders 95-mile and 45-mile routes. Both start and finish in Valle Crucis, NC, and share the same roads for the first 33 miles before the 95-mile route turns right towards Snake Mountain. Riders on both routes climb Mast Gap, Rush Branch, and Georges Gap. The 22nd annual BSG was held on Saturday June 25, 2022. 

Click here for the report. 

2017 Beech Mountain Metric

The Beech Mountain Metric (BMM) is a classic mountain metric century that finishes at the top of Beech Mountain. The BMM is a challenging ride with 8000 feet of climbing. There is also a 43 mile ride with 5600 feet of climbing. The first Beech Mountain Metric was held on Saturday May 17, 2014.

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2023 Town of Boone Boonerang Event

Boonerang is a music and arts festival in downtown Boone, North Carolina. The festival was held on June 15-17, 2023. Boonerang is a festival that helps support local musicians and artists. There are multiple stages in addition to activities such as a silent disco, kids’ zone, and local-made vendor market providing such items as pottery, textiles and jewelry. Boonerang visitation counts are made up of both local (Watauga County) and non-local attendees. In total, it is estimated that  approximately 3,000 individuals attended the event from out of town.

Click here to read the economic impact report.

2017 High Country Beer Fest

The High Country Beer Fest (HCBF) is an annual event where participants can sample craft beers, craft food, enjoy music and attend seminars. It is a non‐profit event that benefits the ASU Fermentation Sciences program and other non‐profit organizations including High Country Local First, High Country Mommies, Blue Ridge Conservancy‐Middle Fork Greenway Association, The Mountain Alliance, and Ivory Tower, Inc. The 10th annual HCBF was held on Saturday, August 26th.

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2017 New River Marathon

The New River Marathon (NRM) event includes a marathon, a half marathon, a 5K and a 1mile fun run. The start and finish is along the banks of the historic New River in Boone, NC,one of only 14 American Heritage Rivers in the United States. The 2017 New River Marathon was held in May.

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Economic Impact of the 2024 Fire Mountain Bike Trail

The Fire Mountain Bike Trail (FMBT) is a multi-use trail system. The trails are located near the Oconaluftee Indian Village in Cherokee, North Carolina. There are multiple trail ride options and each travels through some of the most beautiful scenery in North Carolina and the nearby Great Smoky Mountains.  

Click here for the report