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    New River Gorge

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Economic Impacts of national parks in southern WV

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Date: February 26, 2013
Contact: Robin Snyder, 304-640-0724

New River Gorge National River, Bluestone National Scenic River, and Gauley River National Recreation AreaTourism Create $53,000,000in Local Economic Benefit Part of $30 billion impact that supports 252,000 jobs nationwide

Glen Jean, WV - A new National Park Service (NPS) report for 2011 shows that the 1,226,000 visitors to New River Gorge National River, Bluestone National Scenic River, and Gauley River National Recreation Areaspent $53,000,000in communities surrounding the park.This spending supported 717jobs in the local area.

"The National Parks of southern West Virginiaare a wonderful place to learn about America's story," said Deputy Superintendent Debbie Darden. "We attract visitors from across the U.S. and around the world that come here to experience the park and then spend time and money enjoying the services provided by our neighboring communities and getting to know this amazing part of the country.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 New River Gorge National River, Bluestone National Scenic River, and Gauley River National Recreation Areais part of a peer-reviewed spending analysis of national park visitors across the country conducted by Michigan State University for the National Park Service.For 2011, that 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 (11percent), transportation and fuel (7 percent) and wholesale and manufacturing (2 percent.)

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, 2011.

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

To learn more about national parks in West Virginia and how the National Park Service works withcommunities to preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide local recreation opportunities, go to www.nps.gov/westvirginia.

Did You Know?

Peregrine Falcon

Between 1987 and 1991, over thirty peregrine falcons were released within New River Gorge. Think you saw one? If so, please contact the park wildlife biologist at (304) 465-6542. More...