Tourism to John Day Fossil Beds NM Creates Economic Benefits

Subscribe RSS Icon | What is RSS
Date: April 20, 2017

Report shows visitor spending supports 153 jobs in local economy
KIMBERLY, OREGON – A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 210,111 visitors to John Day Fossil Beds National Monument in 2016 spent $9,995,400 in communities near the park. That spending supported 153 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $11,801,900.

“John Day Fossil Beds welcomes visitors from across the country and around the world,” said Superintendent Shelley Hall. “We are delighted to share the story of this place and the experiences it provides. We also feature the park as a way to introduce our visitors to this part of the country and all that it offers. National park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy, returning more than $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service, and it’s a big factor in our local economy as well. We appreciate the partnership and support of our neighbors and are glad to be able to give back by helping to sustain local communities.”

Superintendent Hall noted that John Day Fossil Beds saw record visitation in 2016 and very large numbers of visitors are expected in Eastern Oregon to view the total solar eclipse in August of 2017.

The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas of the U.S. Geological Survey and Lynne Koontz of the National Park Service.  The report shows $18.4 billion of direct spending by 331 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 318,000 jobs nationally; 271,544 of those jobs are found in these gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $ 34.9 billion.

According to the 2016 report, most park visitor spending was for lodging (31.2 percent) followed by food and beverages (27.2 percent), gas and oil (11.7 percent), admissions and fees (10.2 percent), souvenirs and other expenses (9.7 percent), local transportation (7.4 percent), and camping fees (2.5%).
Report authors this year produced an interactive tool. Users can explore current year visitor spending, jobs, labor income, value added, and output effects by sector for national, state, and local economies. Users can also view year-by-year trend data. The interactive tool and report are available at the NPS Social Science Program webpage:

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

Last updated: April 20, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

32651 Highway 19
Kimberly, OR 97848


(541) 987-2333

Contact Us