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Study: seasonal residents spend at least $28 mil in Jefferson County annually

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Seasonal residents in Jefferson County spend roughly $28 million annually on home improvements and furnishings, groceries, garden and yard supplies, electronics and recreation goods, according to a recent study.

“That’s all going into the local economy,” said Gary S. DeYoung, executive director of the 1000 Islands International Tourism Council. “We’ve also found that the education level of seasonal residents in the county is very high.”

The survey, conducted by Jefferson Community College on behalf of the tourism council, found that approximately two-thirds of seasonal residents have a college degree and 37 percent hold a master’s degree.

The roughly 100-question survey was sent out to 4,000 of the county’s 7,164 seasonal residents, which yielded 974 “credible” responses.

The report also shows that 65 percent of Jefferson County’s seasonal population are between 50 and 69 years old and has an estimated average income of $136,590.

Approximately 80 percent of seasonal residences are on the waterfront with most properties — 68 percent — valued between $100,000 and $400,000 and some 3 percent coming in at more than $800,000, the report said.

Mr. DeYoung said the study also shows that quite a few of these seasonal homeowners are likely to buy or start a business locally.

Nearly one in five seasonal residents are business owners, and the study estimates that more than 320 are interested in buying or starting a business in the area.

JCC’s survey also found that a majority, 79 percent, of seasonal residents have a favorable outlook about the quality of life in Jefferson County and gave high marks to factors such as recreational opportunities, quality of the environment and crime control.

But high property taxes and cost of energy were among the factors that drew negative replies. Those issues received 48 percent and 23 percent “poor” responses, respectively.

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