Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Means Visitors and Money and Jobs for Local Economy

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Date: February 29, 2012

A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 1,280,932 visitors in 2010 spent $120,482,000 in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (National Lakeshore) and nearby communities. That spending supported 2,070 jobs in the local area.

"The people and the business owners in communities near national parks have always known their economic value, and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is no exception," said Park Superintendent Dusty Shultz. "The National Lakeshore provides a remarkable place for visitors to enjoy the natural, historic, and recreational resources, resulting in a tremendous boost to our local economy."

Most of the spending/jobs are related to lodging (48%) and food and beverage service (20%) followed by gas and local transportation, groceries, other retail, and entertainment/amusements, each between 6% and 10%. The figures are based on a 2009 survey conducted in the National Lakeshore and are included in an annual, peer-reviewed, visitor spending analysis conducted by Dr. Daniel Stynes of Michigan State University for the National Park Service. Dr. Stynes' analysis showed that across the United States, national park visitor spending added a total of $31 billion to the national economy and supported more than 258,000 jobs; an increase of $689 million and 11,500 jobs over 2009.

To download the economic report for the National Lakeshore, visit For the national report, visit and click on Economic Benefits to Local Communities from National Park Visitation and Payroll, 2010. The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state.

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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