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A National Park Service (NPS) report shows that during 2012, over 3.9 million visitors to Grand Teton National Park and John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway spent almost $492 million in gateway communities across northwestern Wyoming. In turn, that spending supported 6,925 jobs in the communities of Jackson, Teton Village, and Dubois, Wyoming, and the nearby towns of Driggs and Victor, Idaho.
The information on Grand Teton National Park and the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway is part of a peer-reviewed spending analysis of national park visitors across the country that was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas, Christopher Huber, and Lynne Koontz—who recently joined 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 more than 200,000 of these jobs found in national park gateway communities. This national park tourism spending had a cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy of $26.75 billion.
According to the report, most of the spending supports jobs in restaurants, grocery and convenience stores (39 percent), hotels, motels and B&Bs (27 percent), and other amusement and recreation services (20 percent). The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state.
"Grand Teton National Park enjoys world-wide appeal as an attraction for visitors from across America and around the world, and the dollars and jobs generated by tourism in northwestern Wyoming are both undeniable and substantial," said Acting Superintendent Kevin Schneider. "Across the U.S., there are significant economic benefits derived from sustainable tourism. In fact, studies show that national park tourism is responsible for a 10-fold boost in our national economy. For every $1 invested in the National Park Service, fully $10 dollars are returned to help drive the larger economy," added Schneider. "We appreciate the support of area businesses, neighbors, and park partners for our national parks, and we're mindful of the part we play in helping to sustain our hometown communities."
To download the report visit http://www.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/economics.cfm.
To learn more about national parks in Wyoming and how the National Park Service works with neighbor communities to preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide recreation opportunities, go to www.nps.gov/Wyoming.
Note to Media: Please use this link to video footage related the economic benefits of national parks. http://www.nps.gov/news/econ_b-roll.htm