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Contact: Brian K. McCutchen Superintendent, (931)232-5348
Dover, TN –A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 262,317 visitors to Fort Donelson National Battlefield in 2014 spent $16.2 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 240 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy. "Fort Donelson welcomes visitors from across the country and around the world," said Superintendent. "We are delighted to share the story of this place and the experiences it provides. We also feature 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." "We are pleased to learn of the far-reaching benefit that our national park has on the regional area. This new study takes into account various visitor-related spending for the surrounding area –reaching well outside that of Dover and Stewart County. Such communities benefiting from Fort Donelson visitation include the cities of Clarksville, Paris, Murray, Hopkinsville, and other communities within the study radius," McCutchen added. The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Christopher Huber and National Park Service economist Lynne Koontz. The report shows $15.7 billion of direct spending by 292.8 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 277,000 jobs nationally;235,600 of those jobs are found in these gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $29.7 billion.