Tourism to Fort Donelson National Battlefield creates in Economic Benefit Report shows visitor spending supports 226 jobs in local economy

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Date: March 3, 2014
Contact: Brian McCutchen, Superintendent, (931)232-5348

Dover, Tennessee – A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 284,762 visitors to Fort Donelson National Battlefield in 2012 spent $16.8 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 226 jobs in the local area.


"Fort Donelson National Battlefield is proud to welcome visitors from across the country and around the world," said Superintendent Brian McCutchen. "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."


"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 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 state name and how the National Park Service works with state name communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to


Last updated: April 14, 2015

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