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Contact: Maureen McGee-Ballinger, 605-574-3115
MOUNT RUSHMORE NATIONAL MEMORIAL, S.D. – A new National Park Service (NPS) report for 2011 shows that the 3,807,375 visitors to national parks in South Dakota spent $165 million in communities surrounding those parks. This spending supported 2,651 jobs across the state.
"The six national park service units in South Dakota are great places to learn about America’s story," said Mount Rushmore Superintendent Cheryl Schreier. "We attract visitors from across the U.S. and around the world who come here to experience these parks and then spend time and money enjoying the services provided by our neighboring communities and getting to know all that this state has to offer. 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."
To download the report – which provides park-by-park information – visit https://www.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/products.cfm#MGM and click on Economic Benefits to Local Communities from National Park Visitation and Payroll, 2011. The national parks in South Dakota are Badlands National Park, Jewel Cave National Monument, Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, Missouri National Recreation River, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, and Wind Cave National Park.
The information 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 percent) followed by recreation and entertainment (17 percent), other retail (11percent), transportation and fuel (7 percent) and wholesale and manufacturing (2 percent.)
To learn more about national parks in South Dakota and how the National Park Service works with communities to preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide local recreation opportunities, go to www.nps.gov/SouthDakota.