National Parks Boost Economy | Big Horn Radio Network | Wyoming

National Parks Boost Economy

Written by on May 8, 2018

Visitation to Yellowstone and Grand Teton brings a huge boost to local economies.
At a luncheon yesterday celebrating Cody’s relationship to the surrounding state and national parks, Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk commented on the economic impact that Yellowstone has on gateway communities such as Cody. He referred to a new National Park Service report which shows that 4.1 million people visiting Yellowstone last year spent $498.8 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 7,354 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $629.6 million.
Wenk’s counterpart at Grand Teton National Park, David Vela, added, though, that improving the visitor experience will be key in continued economic growth. He says that with increased visitation also comes increased impact on the infrastructure of the Parks – so planning now for the future is critical.

On a national scale, the visitor spending analysis shows that visitor spending in communities near national parks in 2017 resulted in a $35.8 billion benefit to the nation’s economy–a nearly $1 billion increase from 2016– and supported 306,000 jobs. More than 255,000 of those jobs were in communities that lie within 60 miles of a park.
The lodging sector received the highest direct contributions with $5.5 billion in economic output to local gateway economies and 49,000 jobs. The restaurants sector received the next greatest direct contributions with $3.7 billion in economic output to local gateway economies and 60,500 jobs.


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