Wind Cave National Park Equals Visitors and Money and Jobs

Crowd of visitors waiting in line to purchase tickets inside Wind Cave National Park's visitor center
Visitors to Wind Cave National Park help support over 300 area jobs.

NPS Photo by Tom Farrell

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News Release Date: February 28, 2012

Contact: Tom Farrell, 605-745-1130

A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows the 104,000 visitors who toured Wind Cave in 2010 spent $17.6 million in the park and surrounding communities. This spending supported more than 300 area jobs.

"The people and the business owners in communities near national parks have always known their economic value," said park superintendent Vidal Davila. "Wind Cave National Park is clean, green fuel for the engine that drives our local economy."

Most of the spending/jobs are related to lodging, food, and beverage service (52 percent) followed by other retail (29 percent), entertainment/amusements (10 percent), gas and local transportation (7 percent) and groceries (2 percent).

The figures are based on $12 billion of direct spending by 281 million visitors in 394 national parks and nearby communities 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.

Across the U.S, local 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 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.

For more on how the NPS is working within South Dakota, go to

Last updated: December 29, 2017

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Hot Springs, SD 57747


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