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Mount Rainier National Park Tourism Creates $33M in Local Economic Benefit

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Date: March 22, 2013
Contact: Tracy Swartout, Deputy Superintendent, 360-569-6502

ASHFORD, WA - A new National Park Service (NPS) report for 2011 shows that just over one million visitors to Mount Rainier National Park spent $33M in communities surrounding the park. This spending supported approximately 450 jobs in the local area, not including the 100-110 permanent and 180-200 seasonal staff working directly for the park and another 450-500 commercial concessions service employees working in or near the park. 

"Mount Rainier National Park is a stunning example of the grandeur and influence of the forces of nature, and the deep relationship that people have had with these lands and waters for centuries. A park undergoing constant physical change, Mount Rainier is also home to nationally significant set of historic places that tell an important park of the National Park story in the United States," said park Deputy Superintendent Tracy Swartout. "The mountain attracts visitors from across the U.S. and around the world. While their destination may be the National Park, they also spend time and money in our neighboring communities. The National Park Service is proud to have been entrusted with the care of America's most treasured places and delighted that the visitors we welcome generate significant contributions to the local, state, and national economy."

The information on Mount Rainier National Park is part of peer-reviewed spending analysis of national park visitors across the country conducted by Michigan State University for the National Park Service. For 2011, the report shows $13 billion of direct spending by 279 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. That visitor spending had a $30 billion impact on the entire U.S. economy and supported 252,000 jobs nationwide.

Most visitor spending supports jobs in lodging, food, and beverage service (63 percent) followed by recreation and entertainment (17 percent), other retail (11 percent), transportation and fuel (7 percent), and wholesale and manufacturing (2 percent). 

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, 2011. The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state. 

To learn more about national parks in Washington and how the National Park Service works with communities to preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide local recreation opportunities, go to www.nps.gov/washington.

-NPS-

Did You Know?

Magenta Paintbrush

The Paradise meadows were once home to a golf course, rope tows for skiers, an auto campground, and rows of tent cabins. All of these activities damaged the meadows, as does walking off-trail. Management practices have changed over the years, and we now protect and restore our precious subalpine meadows.