• Badlands formations against the blue sky; photo by Rikk Flohr

    Badlands

    National Park South Dakota

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    Construction crews are replacing the parking lot in front of the visitor center. Please follow the signs, park in the side lot, and use the side doors. The Ben Reifel Visitor Center remains open every day from 8 am to 4 pm.

Badlands National Park = Visitors, Money and Jobs

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Date: February 29, 2012
Contact: Jennie Albrinck, 605-433-5240
Contact: Julie Johndreau, 605-433-5242

BADLANDS NATIONAL PARK, INTERIOR, S.D. - A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows the 977,778 visitors who visited and enjoyed Badlands National Park in 2010 spent $23 million in the park and surrounding communities.  This spending supported more than 375 area jobs.

"The people and the business owners in communities near national parks have always known their economic value," said park superintendent Eric Brunnemann.  "Badlands National Park is clean, green fuel for the engine that drives our local economy."

Special events such as the park's yearly Heritage Celebration in July and its first annual Night Sky Festival in August are anticipated to strengthen these numbers for 2012.

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 http://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 on how the NPS is working within South Dakota, go to www.nps.gov/southdakota .

Learn more about the National Park Service at www.nps.gov.    

Did You Know?

Ben Reifel speaking at the Cedar Pass Campground Amphitheater - 1971

The Ben Reifel Visitor Center was named after Ben Reifel, the first congressman from the Sioux Nation, who served 5 terms. Afterwards, he served as consultant and Special Assistant for Indian Programs to the Director of the National Park Service. Badlands was his favorite national park.