According to a recently-released National Park Service (NPS) study, Glacier National Park ranks 26th among all 397 national park units in visitor spending. The study estimates that in 2010 the Park's 2.2 million visitors spent just under $109 million in the gateway communities surrounding the Park. A large portion of those dollars were generated from an estimated 372,371 overnight stays in 2010. The study also estimates that 1632 local jobs were supported by Park visitor spending.
The study, "Economic Benefits to Local Communities from National Park Visitation and Payroll, 2010", was conducted by Dr. Daniel Stynes of the Department of Community, Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies at Michigan State University. According to Stynes' study the National Park Service received 281 million recreational visits in 2010 and park visitors spent $12.13 billion in local gateway regions.
The study provides a park-by-park and state-by-state breakdowns of each park unit's visitation, visitor spending, and local jobs supported at NPS units from Alaska to the Virgin Islands. The top five NPS units in terms of spending generated were:
1) Great Smoky Mountains National Park (TN/NC) with $818 million
2) Grand Teton National Park (WY) at $424 million
3) Grand Canyon (AZ) at $415 million
4) Yosemite (CA) with $354 million
5) Yellowstone National Park (MT/WY/ID) at $334 million
The spending estimates at each park were derived from a money generation model that begins with a park's visitation, party size, length of stay, and proportion of local vs. non-local visitors. Those statistics are combined with locally-indexed cost estimates for restaurants, lodging, amusements, locally-purchased fuel and transportation, and retail spending.
Visitor spending for other NPS Units in Montana include:
* Big Hole NB: $1.6 million
* Bighorn Canyon NRA: $7.6 million
* Grant-Kohrs Ranch NHS: $769 thousand
* Little Bighorn Battlefield NM: $11.2 million
The entire study can be found here.
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