News Release

Tourism to Mount Rushmore National Memorial contributes $385.6 million to local economy

dozens of people standing in front of Mount Rushmore under a overcast sky.
Mount Rushmore welcomed 2.44 million visitors in 2022.

NPS Photo / Abby Jo Rimstidt

Subscribe RSS Icon | What is RSS
News Release Date: August 21, 2023

Contact: Earl Perez-Foust, 605-515-3115

KEYSTONE, SD — A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 2,440,449 visitors to Mount Rushmore National Memorial in 2022 spent $385.6 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 5,694 jobs in the local area with a cumulative effect of $551 million in economic output. “People come to Mount Rushmore National Memorial to vacation with their families and friends while learning the history of the park and region,” said Superintendent Wheatley. “We recognize that tourism is a critical driver to the local economy and work closely with our tourism partners to support their initiatives.” 

Below are a few highlights regarding park visitors in 2022: 

  • Over 71% stayed in local area lodging;

  • Approximately 5% of visitors were local area residents;

  • Over 55% of visitors indicated that Mount Rushmore National Memorial was the primary reason they visited the area. 

The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by economists at the NPS. The report shows $23.9 billion of direct spending by nearly 312 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 378,400 jobs nationally; 314,600 of those jobs are found in these gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $50.3 billion.

As for the economics of visitor spending, the lodging sector had the highest direct effects, with $9 billion in economic output nationally. The restaurants sector had the second greatest effects with $4.6 billion in economic output nationally. 

“Since 1916, the National Park Service has been entrusted with the care of our national parks. With the help of volunteers and partners, we safeguard these special places and share their stories with more than 300 million visitors every year. The impact of tourism to national parks is undeniable: bringing jobs and revenue to communities in every state in the country and making national parks an essential driver to the national economy,” says National Park Service Director Chuck Sams. 

Report authors also produced 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.


About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 424 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at, and on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

Last updated: August 21, 2023

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

13000 Highway 244
Building 31, Suite 1

Keystone, SD 57751


605 574-2523
Park information. Phones are answered from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Contact Us