Economic Benefit 2013

People On Au Sable Beach
Visitors along the Lake Superior beach

NPS photo / Gregg Bruff

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News Release Date: July 24, 2014

Contact: Mike Pflaum, 906-387-2607, ext. 202

Tourism to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Creates $23.5 million in Economic Benefit
Report shows visitor spending supports 306
jobs in local economy

MUNISING, Mich.– A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 575,451 visitors to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in 2013 spent $23.5 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 306 jobs in the local area.

"Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is proud to welcome visitors from across the country and around the world," said Superintendent Mike Pflaum. "We are delighted to share the story of this place and the experiences it provides and to use 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 $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 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 and Christopher Huber, U.S. Geological Survey, and Lynne Koontz, National Park Service.  The report shows $14.6 billion of direct spending by 273.6 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported more than 237,000 jobs nationally, with more than 197,000 jobs found in these gateway communities, and had a cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy of $26.5 billion.

According to the 2013 economic analysis, most visitor spending was for lodging (30.3 percent) followed by food and beverages (27.3 percent), gas and oil (12.1 percent), admissions and fees (10.3 percent) and souvenirs and other expenses (10 percent).

The largest jobs categories supported by visitor spending were restaurants and bars (50,000 jobs) and lodging (38,000 jobs).

To download the report, please visit

The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state.To learn more about national parks in Michiganand how the National Park Service works with Michigan 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 more than 400 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at


Last updated: April 10, 2015

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