News Release

Tourism to Lake Mead National Recreation Area Creates $336 Million in Economic Benefits

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Date: May 29, 2019

U.S. Department of the Interior

For Immediate Release: May 29, 2019
Release No.: 2019-17
Contact: 702-293-8691

Tourism to Lake Mead National Recreation Area Creates $336 Million in Economic Benefits

BOULDER CITY, Nevada – A new National Park Service report shows that 7.6 million visitors to Lake Mead National Recreation Area in 2018 spent an estimated $336 million in local gateway communities while visiting the park. These expenditures supported a total of 3,990 jobs, $149 million in labor income, $247 million in value added and $397 million in economic output in local gateway economies surrounding Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Egan Cornachione of the U.S. Geological Survey and Lynne Koontz of the National Park Service. The report shows $20.2 billion of direct spending by more than 318 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 329,000 jobs nationally; 268,000 of those jobs are found in these gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $40.1 billion.

Lodging expenses account for the largest share of visitor spending, about $6.8 billion in 2018. Food expenses are the second largest spending area and visitors spent $4 billion in restaurants and bars and another $1.4 billion at grocery and convenience stores.

Visitor spending on lodging supported more than 58,000 jobs and more than 61,000 jobs in restaurants. Visitor spending in the recreation industries supported more than 28,000 jobs and spending in retail supported more than 20,000 jobs.

Report authors also produce an interactive tool that enables users to explore 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 Nevada and Arizona and how the National Park Service works with Nevada and Arizona communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment and provide outdoor recreation, go to or


Last updated: May 29, 2019

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