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Contact: Jeff Reinbold, 814 893-6322
SOMERSET, PA- A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 643,000 visitors in 2010 spent $28 millionin the five national parks in Western Pennsylvaniaand in communities near the parks. That spending supported 421jobs in the local area. These numbers are expected to grow significantly as annual visitation to the newly dedicated Flight 93 National Memorial grows to 400,000. The figures also do not include construction spending for the Memorial.
"The people and the business owners in communities near national parks have always known their economic value," said National Park Service Superintendent Jeff Reinbold, "The sites in western Pennsylvania not only preserve the heritage of our region, but contribute significantly to our local economies and quality of life."
Most of the spending and jobs nation-wide are related to lodging, food, and beverage service (52 percent) followed by other retail (29 percent), entertainment/amusements (10 percent), gas and local transportation (7 percent) and groceries (2 percent).
The figures are based on $12 billion of direct spending by 281 million visitors in 394 national parks and nearby communities and are included in an annual, peer-reviewed, visitor spending analysis conducted by Dr. Daniel Stynes of Michigan State University for the National Park Service.
Across the U.S, local visitor spending added a total of $31 billion to the national economy and supported more than 258,000 jobs, an increase of $689 million and 11,500 jobs over 2009.
To download the report visit http://www.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/products.cfm#MGM and click on Economic Benefits to Local Communities from National Park Visitation and Payroll, 2010.
The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state. The five sites in western Pennsylvania are Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site, Johnstown Flood National Memorial, Flight 93 National Memorial, Fort Necessity National Battlefield, and Friendship Hill National Historic Site.
For more information on how the NPS is working in Pennsylvania, go to http://www.nps.gov/pennsylvania