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Tourism At Fossil Beds Creates Over Million Dollars In Economic Benefit

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By Paul Johnson

Hagerman, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV ) - A new National Park Service report shows that 21,007 visitors to Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument in 2013 spent $1,157,900 in communities near the park. That spending supported 17 jobs in the local area.

“Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument is proud to welcome visitors from across the country and around the world,” said superintendent Judy Geniac “We are delighted to share the story of this place and the experiences it provides and to use the park as a way to introduce our visitors to this part of the country and all that it offers.

National park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy - returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service - and it’s a big factor in our local economy as well. We appreciate the partnership and support of our neighbors and are glad to be able to give back by helping to sustain local communities. As national parks, both Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument and Minidoka National Historic Site draw visitors to Southern Idaho. Such contributions to local economies are valued. We are focused on continued improvements in visitor experiences, as well as increased visitation. We appreciate the ability to work in collaboration with local communities to reach common goals."

The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Christopher Huber and Lynne Koontz for the National Park Service. The report shows $14.6 billion of direct spending by 273.6 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported more than 237,000 jobs nationally, with more than 197,000 jobs found in these gateway communities, and had a cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy of $26.5 billion.

According to the 2013 economic analysis, most visitor spending was for lodging (30.3 percent) followed by food and beverages (27.3 percent), gas and oil (12.1 percent), admissions and fees (10.3 percent) and souvenirs and other expenses (10 percent).
The largest jobs categories supported by visitor spending were restaurants and bars (50,000 jobs) and lodging (38,000 jobs).


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