Tourism to the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway creates $27,645,600 in Economic Benefits

A group of youth and adults with canoeing equipment stand next to a river.
Organized groups make up a portion of the visitors to the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway.


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News Release Date: May 21, 2015

Contact: Julie Galonska, 715-483-2270

Report shows visitor spending supports 439 jobs in local economy

ST. CROIX FALLS, Wisconsin: A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 671,582 visitors to the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway in 2014 spent $27,645,600 in communities near the park. That spending supported 439 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $37,646,100.

"The St. Croix National Scenic Riverway is proud to welcome visitors from across the country and around the world," said Superintendent Chris Stein. "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 $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 U.S. Geological Survey economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Christopher Huber and Lynne Koontz for the National Park Service. The report shows $15.7 billion of direct spending by 292.8 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 277,000 jobs nationally, with 235,600 jobs found in gateway communities, and had a cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy of $29.7 billion.

According to the 2014 report, most park visitor spending was for lodging (30.6 percent) followed by food and beverages (20.3 percent), gas and oil (11.9 percent), admissions and fees (10.2 percent) and souvenirs and other expenses (9.9 percent).

To download the report visit

The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state.

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

The St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, a unit of the National Park System, was established by the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act in 1968. It is one of a group of eight rivers in the country which first received this recognition. For 255 miles, the St. Croix and its tributary, the Namekagon, flow through some of the most scenic and least developed country in the Upper Midwest.

Learn more at

Last updated: April 30, 2019

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