Park Economic Benefit Report

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Date: March 3, 2014
Contact: Denice Swanke, 406-638-3201

Tourism to Bighorn Canyon creates $9,821,000.10 in Economic Benefit

Report shows visitor spending supports 140 jobs in the local economy


Lovell, Wyoming – A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 245,831 visitors to Bighorn Canyon in 2012 spent $9,821,000.00 in communities near the park. That spending supported 140 jobs in the local area.

"Bighorn Canyon is proud to welcome visitors from across the country and around the world," said acting superintendent Denice Swanke. "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 and all that it offers. 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 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 The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state.

To learn more about national parks in Wyoming and Montana and how the National Park Service works with Wyoming and Montana communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to or

Last updated: February 24, 2015

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Mailing Address:

Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area Headquarters Office
PO Box 7458

Fort Smith, MT 59035


(307) 548-5406

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