Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area Generates $26 Million in Local Economic Impact

Park ranger leads school children on hike
The National Park Service released a report showing a $26.5 billion impact economic impact from national parks. Above, school children enjoy a ranger-led hike at Rancho Sierra Vista, part of Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.

National Park Service

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News Release Date: July 21, 2014

Contact: Kate Kuykendall, 805-370-2343

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 633,000 visitors to Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area in 2013 spent $26 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 332 jobs in the local area.

"This report shows that conservation of places like the Santa Monica Mountains not only offers tangible quality of life benefits, but also helps support the local economy," said David Szymanski, superintendent of Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. "Our park welcomes thousands of outdoor enthusiasts each week." 

The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Christopher Huber, along with Lynne Koontz from the 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).

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

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


Last updated: March 1, 2015

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