Tourism to North Cascades National Park Service Complex Creates $44,098,600 in Economic Benefits

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Date: April 22, 2016

Sedro Woolley, WA –A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 825,441 visitors to North Cascades National Park Service Complex, which includes Lake Chelan NRA, North Cascades National Park, and Ross Lake NRA, in 2015, spent $36,351,300 in communities near the parks. That spending supported 448 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $44,098,600.

"North Cascades National Park Service Complex welcomes visitors from across the country and around the world," said Superintendent Karen Taylor-Goodrich. "We are delighted to share the story of the rugged North Cascades and the experiences it provides. We also see the Complex as an opportunity to introduce visitors to this part of the country and all that it offers. National park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy, returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park System, 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."

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 $16.9 billion of direct spending by 307.2 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 295,000 jobs nationally;252,000 of those jobs are found in these gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $32 billion.

According to the 2015 report, most park visitor spending was for lodging (31.1 percent) followed by food and beverages (20.2 percent), gas and oil (11.8 percent), admissions and fees (10.2 percent) and souvenirs and other expenses (9.8 percent).

To download the report, The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state.

To learn more about national parks in Washington and how the National Park Service works with Washington communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go  

Last updated: April 22, 2016

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