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A new National Park Service (NPS) report determined that during 2013, over 3.9 million visitors to Grand Teton National Park and John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway spent over $502 million in gateway communities across northwestern Wyoming. In turn, that spending supported 6,996 jobs in the communities of Jackson, Teton Village, and Dubois, Wyoming, and the nearby towns of Driggs and Victor, Idaho. This report comes on the heels of a 2012 report released in March of this year with similar findings; however the amount generated increased by $10M between 2012 and 2013.
The new information on Grand Teton National Park and the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway comes from a peer-reviewed spending analysis of national park visitors conducted for the NPS by U.S. Geological Survey economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas, Christopher Huber, and Lynne Koontz. The report shows $14.6 billion of direct spending by 273.6 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 237,000 jobs nationally, with more than 197,000 of these jobs found in national park gateway communities. National park tourism spending had a cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy of $26.5 billion.
According to the 2013 economic analysis, most visitor spending was for lodging (30.3 percent) followed by food and beverages (27.3 percent), gas and oil (12.1 percent), admissions and fees (10.3 percent) and souvenirs and other expenses (10 percent).
The largest jobs categories supported by visitor spending were restaurants and bars (50,000 jobs) and lodging (38,000 jobs).
To download the report visit http://www.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/economics.cfm.
"It's no secret that Grand Teton National Park has a universal appeal that attracts world-wide attention. And the substantial income and jobs generated by tourism in northwestern Wyoming are an integral part of our local economy," said David Vela, Superintendent of Grand Teton National Park & the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway. "We have learned from these annual economic studies that national park tourism is responsible for a 10-fold boost to our national economy. For every $1 invested in the National Park Service budget, $10 is returned to support the larger economy," added Superintendent Vela. "We understand the part we play in creating a healthy and sustainable economic base, and we appreciate the support of area businesses, neighbors, and park partners for our national parks. Together we are ensuring a quality of life for our hometown communities and an exceptional visitor experience for travelers from near and far."
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.