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Contact: Alexandra Picavet, 415-786-8021
Visitation to Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Muir Woods National Monument and Fort Point National Historic Site (Golden Gate National Parks) is up this year, and it is still winter. According to the park rangers it seems as if summer never ended. Muir Woods, Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge are travel destinations for millions of people from around the world each year. The good weather and rebounding economy has inspired people to get out and visit their parks this winter in numbers that have not been seen since before 9/11.
A new National Park Service (NPS) report [linked at the end of release] shows visitors to the National Park System across the nation contributed more than $31 billion to local economies and supported 258,000 jobs in 2010. Golden Gate National Parks recorded approximately 16.5 million visitors in 2010 who contributed more than $403 million to the Bay Area economy. By itself, Golden Gate National Recreation Area is the second most visited NPS unit in the country with more than 14.5 million visitors in 2011.
"This year is the 40th anniversary of Golden Gate as a national park area, and I believe a valued part of the Bay Area quality of life," General Superintendent Frank Dean said. "These parks not only influence tourists and how long they stay in the area and contribute to the regional economy, they also help make the Bay Area one of the most livable urban places in the country."
Studies, including those by the American Planning Association and by Open Space San Francisco, have shown that open space and parks improve property values, attract a talented workforce, and enhance the beauty of an area.
In 2010, Golden Gate National Parks spent approximately $100 million in government and philanthropic private funds on projects and infrastructure improvements, salaries, and general upkeep. Approximately 1800 people are directly employed by Golden Gate National Parks and its partners and concessionaires. Many industries including rental bikes, restaurants, and tourism industry based employers have evolved to benefit from Golden Gate National Parks by serving park visitors. All of this contributes to the economy of the Bay Area and is an excellent example of how private and public investment in parks is good for the nation.
"If visitation stays at this level, and with the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge and activities for the 34th America's Cup planned for this year, this anniversary year could be one of the busiest yet," noted Dean.
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.