A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 559,712 visitors in 2010 spent $41.3 million in Mesa Verde National Park and in communities near the park. That spending supported more than 575 jobs in the local area.
The people and the business owners in communities near national parks have always known their economic value, park superintendent Cliff Spencer said. Most of the spending/jobs are related to lodging, food, and beverage service (52 percent) followed by other retail (29 percent), entertainment/amusements (10 percent), gas and local transportation (7 percent) and groceries (2 percent).
The figures are based on $12 billion of direct spending by 281 million visitors in 394 national parks and nearby communities and are included in an annual, peer-reviewed, visitor spending analysis conducted by Dr. Daniel Stynes of Michigan State University for the National Park Service.
Across the U.S, local visitor spending added a total of $31 billion to the national economy and supported more than 258,000 jobs, an increase of $689 million and 11,500 jobs over 2009.
To download the report visit www.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/products.cfm#MGM and click on Economic Benefits to Local Communities from National Park Visitation and Payroll, 2010.
The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state. For more information on how the NPS is working in Colorado, go to www.nps.gov/colorado.