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DINOSAUR I A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 250,624 visitors to Dinosaur National Monument in 2014 spent $14,298,400 in communities near the monument. That spending supported 194 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $16,059,100.
“Dinosaur National Monument not only welcomes visitors from Colorado and Utah, but people travel to see the monument’s unique resources from across the country and around the world,” said Superintendent Mark Foust.
While visitation numbers showed a decrease in 2014, visitation for the first three months of 2015 is already showing an increase of 58 percent over last year.
“With the mild winter weather, we saw a significant increase in visitation during what are normally quiet winter months,” Park Ranger Sonya Popelka said. “Traffic during spring break was much higher than normal. Plus, we have many activities scheduled for the celebration of our centennial anniversary, so we expect to see more people coming out to join in the various events throughout the year.”
The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Christopher Huber and National Park Service economist Lynne Koontz. The report shows $15.7 billion of direct spending by 292.8 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park.
This spending supported 277,000 jobs nationally; 235,600 of those jobs are found in these gateway communities.The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $29.7 billion.
According to the 2014 report, most park visitor spending was for lodging (30.6 percent) followed by food and beverages (20.3 percent), gas and oil (11.9 percent), admissions and fees (10.2 percent) and souvenirs and other expenses (9.9 percent). Download the report at www.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/economics.cfm.