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Date: April 26, 2017

News Release: Economic Benefits for Local Communities

A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 125,000 visitors to Petroglyph National Monument in 2016 spent $7.2 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 120 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $9.3 million.

“Petroglyph National Monument welcomes visitors from across the country and around the world,” said Superintendent Dennis Vásquez. “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 with the City of Albuquerque and support of our neighbors and are glad to be able to give back by helping to sustain local communities.”

Petroglyph National Monument is located within the city limits of Albuquerque, just 20 minutes from the Albuquerque International Sunport and three miles north of I-40. “Being so close to both I-25 and I-40 makes access to the park much easier for travelers. We have visitors from more than 60 countries worldwide” stated Vásquez.

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%) followed by food and beverages (27.2%), gas and oil (11.7%), admissions and fees (10.2%), souvenirs and other expenses (9.7%), local transportation (7.4%), and camping fees (2.5%).
For the 2017 year, report authors 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 the 15 national park units in New Mexico and how the National Park Service works with New Mexican communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 407 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at

Park magazine cover featuring a sunset on Black volcano with snow capped Sandia mountains in the background.
Front cover of A Beautiful Mystery, the 2017-2018 edition of park newspaper.


View A Beautiful Mystery, the 2017-2018 edition of the park newspaper (pdf).

Last updated: September 8, 2018

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