Dinosaur National Monument tourism created $20.3 million in cumulative economic benefits for area last year, report says

DINOSAUR | A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 304,468 visitors to Dinosaur National Monument in 2018 spent $18.3 million in communities near the monument. That spending supported 222 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economies of $20.3 million.

“Dinosaur National Monument welcomes visitors from across the country and around the world,” said Superintendent Paul Scolari. “We are delighted to share the story of this place and the experiences it provides. We also feature the park as a way to introduce our visitors to northeast Utah and northwest Colorado and all they offer. We appreciate the partnership and support of our neighbors and are glad to play a role in helping to sustain local communities.  Beyond our region, national park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy, returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service.”

The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Egan Cornachione of the U.S. Geological Survey and Lynne Koontz of the National Park Service. The report shows $20.2 billion of direct spending by more than 318 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 329,000 jobs nationally; 268,000 of those jobs are found in these gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $40.1 billion.

Lodging expenses accounted for the largest share of visitor spending, about $6.8 billion in 2018, resulting in more than 58,000 jobs. Food expenses were the second largest spending area. Visitors spent $4 billion in restaurants and bars and another $1.4 billion at grocery and convenience stores resulting in more than 61,000 jobs. Visitor spending in the recreation industries supported more than 28,000 jobs and spending in retail supported more than 20,000 jobs.

Report authors also produced an interactive tool that enables users to explore visitor spending, jobs, labor income, value added, and output effects by sector for national, state, and local economies. Users can also view year-by-year trend data. The interactive tool and report are available at the NPS Social Science Program webpage: www.nps.gov/subjects/socialscience/vse.htm

To learn more about national parks in Colorado and Utah, and how the National Park Service works with communities in these states to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to www.nps.gov/colorado or www.nps.gov/utah.

For general information on Dinosaur National Monument, please visit our website at www.nps.gov/dino or call us at (435) 781-7700. You can also look for DinosaurNPS on social media.

About the National Park Service:

More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 419 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.

Special to the Herald Times