St. Louis National Parks Tourism Creates Local Economic Benefit

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Date: February 26, 2013
Contact: Ann Honious, 314-655-1634
Contact: Arlene Jackson, 314-842-3298

ST LOUIS, MO-A new National Park Service (NPS) report for 2011 shows that almost 2.3 million visitors to St. Louis's national park units, Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (JNEM) and Ulysses S Grant National Historic Site (Grant), spent $100,218,000 in communities surrounding the park. This spending supported 1,285 jobs in the local area.

Separately, JNEM's visitation totaled 2,259,020. These visitors spent $97,764,000 in the local community, supporting 1,252 jobs. The visitation at Grant totaled 35,664 individuals that spent $2,454,000 in the local community. The spending supported 33 local jobs.

"Both JNEM and Grant are wonderful places to learn about America's story", said JNEM park superintendent Tom Bradley. "They attract visitors from across the U.S. and around the world that come to experience the park and then spend time and money enjoying services provided by our neighboring communities and getting to know this amazing part of the country." Timothy S. Good, Superintendent at Grant added, "The National Park Service is proud to have been entrusted with the care of America's most treasured places and delighted that the visitors we welcome generate significant contributions to the local, state, and national economy".

The information on St. Louis's national parks 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%) followed by recreation and entertainment (17%), other retail (11%), transportation (7%) and wholesale and manufacturing (2%).

To down load the report visit and click on Economic Benefits to Local Communities from National Park Visitation 2011.

The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state. To learn more about national parks in Missouri and how the National Park Service works with the communities to preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide local recreation opportunities, go to 

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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