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Grand Teton generates over $436 million for local communities

By Staff Writer
Published On: Feb 26 2013 11:18:27 AM CST

MOOSE, Wyo. -

The two point six million visitors to Grand Teton National Park in 2011 spent over $436 million in gateway communities.  That spending supported 6,397 jobs in Jackson, Teton Village, and Dubois, Wyoming and Driggs and Victor, Idaho.

The findings are part of a peer-reviewed spending analysis of national park visitors conducted by Michigan State University for the National Park Service.

The same report indicated Yellowstone National Park saw three point three million visitors in 2011 who spent nearly $333 million in gateway communities and was responsible for 5,041 jobs in them.

Grand Teton Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott said that while the park was created to protect its natural and cultural resources, the less obvious benefit is the economic advantage generated by sustainable tourism. "National parks provide great enjoyment, inspiration and education to American citizens and international visitors who spend their vacation dollars in both the parks and their gateway communities," said Scott.  "These federal lands are visited by nearly 280 million people a year, which ranks them as eighth among America's top domestic travel destinations according to Forbes."

Nationwide, for 2011, the study revealed $13 billion of direct spending by 279 million park visitors had a $30 billion impact on the entire U.S. economy and supported 252 thousand jobs.

Most visitor spending supports jobs in lodging, food, and beverage service (63 percent) followed by recreation and entertainment (17 percent), other retail (11percent), transportation and fuel (7 percent) and wholesale and manufacturing (2 percent.)

The entire "Economic Benefits To Local Communities From National Park Visitation, 2011" is available at http://goo.gl/3q4qa.

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