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Tourism to Olympic National Park Creates $220 Million in Economic Benefit; Report shows visitor spending supports 2,700 jobs in local economy

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Date: March 3, 2014
Contact: Barb Maynes, 360-565-2985

PORT ANGELES, WASHINGTON – A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 2,824,908 visitors to Olympic in 2012 spent $220 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 2,708 jobs in the local area.

"We are proud to welcome visitors from across the country and around the world to Olympic National Park," said Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum. We appreciate the partnership and support of our neighbors and are glad to be able to give back by helping to sustain local communities."

"Olympic National Park is a one-of-a-kind place and we are delighted that it helps draw visitors to the Olympic Peninsula. 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."

The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists Catherine 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 a national park. 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 report most visitor spending supports jobs in restaurants, grocery and convenience stores (39 percent), hotels, motels and B&Bs (27 percent), and other amusement and recreation (20 percent).

To download the report visit http://www.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/economics.cfm

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

Did You Know?

marmot

Although related to other marmots and groundhogs of North America, the Olympic marmot is unique. An endemic species, it is found only in the Olympic Mountains. Visitors to the high country of Olympic National Park may be lucky enough to encounter a marmot sunning itself near its burrow.