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    Carlsbad Caverns

    National Park New Mexico

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Economic Impact on Local Communities

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Date: March 4, 2014

TOURISM TO CARLSBAD CAVERNS CREATES $22M IN ECONOMIC BENEFIT

 For Immediate Release – March 4, 2014

Contact: Valerie Gohlke 575-785-3090

CARLSBAD, New Mexico – A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 381,058 visitors to Carlsbad Caverns National Park in 2012 spent $22,584,700 in communities near the park. That spending supported 296 jobs in the local area.

"Carlsbad Caverns National Park is proud to welcome visitors from across the country and around the world," said Acting Superintendent Doug Neighbor. "We are delighted to share the story of this place and the experiences it provides and to use the park as a way to introduce our visitors to this part of the country. National park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy – returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service – and it's a big factor in our local economy as well. We appreciate the partnership and support of our neighbors and are glad to be able to give back by helping to sustain local communities."

The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists Catherin Cullinane Thomas and Christopher Huber and Lynne Koontz for the National Park Service. The report shows $14.7 billion of direct spending by 283 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of national parks. This spending supported 243,000 jobs nationally, with 201,000 jobs found in these gateway communities, and had a cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy of $26.75 billion.

According to the spending analysis report most visitor dollars supports jobs in restaurants, grocery and convenience stores (39 percent), hotels, motels and B&Bs (27 percent), and other amusement and recreation (20 percent).

"It is a tremendous opportunity for our community to have such a wonderful natural treasure, like Carlsbad Caverns, practically in our backyard," said Robert Defer, Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce Executive Director. "The tourists who visit Carlsbad, just to see the caverns, have a very positive impact on our local economy. We are happy to welcome each and every visitor and proud to share our wonderful city with them."

To download the analysis report, visit htts://www.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/economics.cfm

The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state.

To learn more about national parks in New Mexico and how the National Park Service works with New Mexico communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to www.nps.gov/newmexico.

                                                          - www.NPS.gov-

Did You Know?

Bowl flax.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park contains one of the few protected portions of the northern Chihuahuan Desert ecosystem.