National Parks continue to be a huge economic boon to Utah’s gateway communities

by | Apr 22, 2015 | National Parks, Outdoor Outreach

The numbers are in and it’s no surprise that national parks are a huge benefit the economies of gateway communities in Utah and across the country.

Today, National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis released a new report and confirmed what local Utahns already know: “National parks are world-renowned for showcasing our country’s vast natural beauty and cultural and historic heritage, and year after year, we are demonstrating that they are also economic engines in communities across the country.”

According to the National Park Service report, “in 2014, park visitors spent an estimated $729.7 million in local gateway regions while visiting NPS lands in Utah. These expenditures supported a total of 12.6 thousand jobs, $376.8 million in labor income, $610.3 million in value added, and $1.1 billion in economic output in the Utah economy.”

These numbers reflect an overall upward trend of the last several years in Utah and a significant increase since 2012. An upsurge of more than 3,200 jobs since 2012 can be attributed to Utah’s National Parks due in large part to a rise of more than $210 million in visitor spending during that period.

Recreational visitors and other tourists from across the world visit Zion, Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and others parks and national monuments in Utah. Gateway communities benefitting from these world-class landscapes include Springdale, St. George, Moab, Green River, Torrey, Monticello, Blanding, Vernal, and many more.

The National Park Service, in partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey, also unveiled an online interactive tool displaying how visitor spending—and the secondary effects of park visitation—contributes annually to local, state, and national economies. Director Jarvis says that every dollar invested in the national park service returns $10 to the U.S. economy in visitor spending in gateway communities

For more information on how our national parks contribute and sustain gateway communities in Utah and across the country, see the 2014 NPS Visitor Spending Effects Report.

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