Economic Impact Statement of a Motorsport Park

Economic Impact Statement of a Motorsport Park

Why a Drag Strip & Motorsports Facility

  • Vancouver Island lacks any permanent racing facility for drag racing, the world’s most participated in form of racing (the average street car can compete).
  • Port Alberni’s Thunder in the Valley is in danger of loosing its use of the Port Alberni airport.  This annual event has brought millions of dollars to their economy.
  • The Island has a large contingent of racers with only temporary facilities (Alberni & Port McNeill)
  • Although the main use would be drag racing, this area would open for other needs ( similar venues accommodate a wide variety of recreational and other activities, including: road racing, motocross, bicycle racing, police training, professional driving schools, and club events for car enthusiasts.


Economic Impact

  • With a captive audience of over 750,000 Island residents, the facility would be widely used.  Having the only permanent facility on the Island would fill a significant need.
  • More importantly from an economic perspective, a racing facility acts as a magnet that attracts users and visitors to the community, whose spending represents a significant, ongoing economic stimulus to the local economy.
  • Finally, as a local venue, it keeps spending by thousands of local motor sports enthusiasts, and others on the Island. Effectively, it is a mechanism allowing them to “buy local.”



  • Ideally, the facility would be located near an airport for the following reasons:
    • Airports are built on large areas of flat land.
    • Airports generate noise, and so does a racing facility.
    • Airports are accessible to the driving public.
  • Approximate ideal size of the land would be 500’ wide & 4000’ long. 


Development & Operations

  • Could be community owned and operated or privately operated.
  • Our not-for-profit society is gathering a group to spearhead the project.
  • The property would have the ability to accommodate many types of recreational use.


Interesting Info from Portland International Raceway (PIR)

(Although PIR has a larger population to draw from, this information is relevant.  To have the only facility of its kind on Vancouver Island would definitely create a significant economic impact to the community).

PIR is City owned and operated by their Parks & Recreation Department.

PIR held approximately 650 days of events in 2004. (Event days are greater than calendar days because the facility was double and triple booked on most days during peak season.) PIR estimates that track participants, spectators, and others made approximately 420,000 visits to the raceway in 2004.

*Interesting Survey Result* – approximately 87.4 percent of the person visits by non-residents would not have occurred if it were not for PIR. This result clearly indicates that PIR is the primary draw

Below is an example from an Economic Impact Study for Portland International Raceway (PIR).  Although they may have a larger drawing area, we draw from the entire Island so it could be relevant.

An increase of $45.3 million in output (a measure of overall economic activity);

An increase of 690 full- and part-time jobs;

An increase of $16.9 million in wages;

An increase of $2.7 million in income for small business owners;

An increase of $5.6 million in various other types of income such as rents, royalties, dividends and profits received by residents, local businesses, and others; and

An increase of $2.6 million in revenues for state and local tax jurisdictions that includes approximately $1.2 million in additional property tax revenues for Multnomah County.

The primary revenue source for PIR is rent paid by users of the facility. PIR also earns revenues for the City of Portland through advertising and by renting parking spaces to the nearby Expo Center. As shown in Table 1, PIR earned $1,587,859 in calendar year 2004.  (See table in the PDF)

For the full survey go to:

Download the PDF

  • Carl Delcourt
    Posted at 04:11h, 29 February Reply

    Wow just think what could happen for the community that would allow this nothing but positives it,s common sense.

  • Johnnie Barnes
    Posted at 03:45h, 04 March Reply

    Being a long time loyal supporter of motorsports, drag racing in particular, the opportunity to embrace the idea of a first class island based facility, is very, very exciting.
    I know I speak for thousands of loyal racers when I say “Our Time is Now”.
    With our lumber and fishing industries virtually gone as a means of maintaining growth for local economy, plus the on-set of small business drought due to our depleting dollar, It only makes sense to explore every opportunity that we are afforded, to support local, Island based ventures.
    If you allow the loyal, dedicated racing community an opportunity to make an economic impact here at home, You will be amazed at the professionalism and pride of ownership of having a first class facility would bring to our Island.
    As the old saying goes ” Build it and they will come”
    That, my friends, I support………..
    Johnnie Barnes

  • Jason Johnson
    Posted at 03:48h, 16 March Reply

    A venue like this provides a safe place for young adults to challenge friends and rivals, keeping them from racing on the streets and highways. Being local, it makes it more affordable to locals who want to race but can’t afford the ferry tickets or the time to go to other tracks on the mainland. It will make it possible for would be racers to try it out without having to plan an entire week off the island. The more people who try it, will love it, and therefore become willing to put their hard earned money into racing. Local automotive and tourism businesses will benefit and even possibly bring in more businesses such as speed shops and tuning shops.

  • Mike Bennett
    Posted at 13:41h, 16 March Reply

    Great idea, the economic spin off from a facility like this is huge. Have you also considered a kart racing track to more fully utilize the area? People who enjoy this sport send a lot of money as well. When Race City Motorsports Park closed in Calgary due to the City needing the lan, the Calgary Kart Racing Club built a facilty in nearby Strathmore to their mutual benifit. Check it out at

    Posted at 17:53h, 03 April Reply

    For the past 15 years Thunder in the Alberni Valley has more than proven that Vancouver Island not only needs but can sustain it’s own Drag Racing and Motor Sports facility. As a Mission Raceway drag racer I am excited that the VIMA has been formed. The $600 (return) BC Ferry fee for travel to Mission Raceway on the mainland is simply too expensive for your average racer to afford never mind the long hours.. I race in the Door Slammer class and rarely ever miss a race at Mission Raceway Park. By the time my fuel and entry fees are paid it’s easily a $1100-$1200 weekend…EVERY SECOND Weekend. You do the Math. That is money that I’d rather spend in my local community and keep on Vancouver Island. Besides if I never spent that on travel I could spend it on my race car and again keep the cash local instead of bringing it to the mainland. Having a Vancouver Island Drag Racing facility is long overdue and I am happy to join the VIMA and support this venture and hope someone see’s the opportunity here like we all do. This is a WIN WIN situation for everyone so my hat goes off to everyone involved Let’s do this!

    • Jim Johnson
      Posted at 18:15h, 03 April Reply

      Thanks Dyan for your support!

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VIMSA brings motorsports enthusiasts together to create a permanent drag racing facility on Vancouver Island.