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A new National Park Service (NPS) report for 2011 shows that nearly 2.6 million visitors to Grand Teton National Park spent over $436 million in gateway communities surrounding the park. That spending, in turn, supported 6,397 jobs in the northwestern Wyoming communities of Jackson, Teton Village, and Dubois, as well as the nearby Idaho communities of Driggs and Victor.
"Grand Teton National Park is one of America's premiere attractions for visitors from across the U.S. and around the world," said Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott. "While we generally focus on Grand Teton's priceless natural and cultural resources as the principle rationale for its creation and enduring value, another-perhaps less obvious-benefit of Grand Teton involves the economic advantage that comes from sustainable tourism generated by this national park and others located throughout the Intermountain West," added Superintendent Scott. "National parks provide great enjoyment, inspiration and education to American citizens and international visitors who spend their vacation dollars in both the parks and their gateway communities. These federal lands are visited by nearly 280 million people a year, which ranks them as eighth among America's top domestic travel destinations according to Forbes."
The information on Grand Teton National Park is part of a peer-reviewed spending analysis of national park visitors across the country conducted by Michigan State University for the National Park Service. For 2011, that report shows $13 billion of direct spending by 279 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. That visitor spending had a $30 billion impact on the entire U.S. economy and supported 252,000 jobs nationwide.
Most visitor spending supports jobs in lodging, food, and beverage service (63 percent) followed by recreation and entertainment (17 percent), other retail (11percent), transportation and fuel (7 percent) and wholesale and manufacturing (2 percent.)
To download the report visit www.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/products.cfm#MGM and click on Economic Benefits to Local Communities from National Park Visitation, 2011. The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and also by state.
To learn more about national parks in Wyoming and how the National Park Service works with communities to preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide local recreation opportunities, go to www.nps.gov/Wyoming.
Last updated: February 24, 2015