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(S.D.)-National Park Service Releases Figures On Wind Cave Visitors Last Year

By: Chris Fankhauser Posted at: 04/23/2015 03:04 PM

(Hot Springs, SD)-A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 547,022 visitors to Wind Cave National Park in 2014 spent $52.8 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 919 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $69.8 million.
Superintendent Vidal Dávila said Wind Cave National Park welcomes visitors from across the country and around the world. She stated that national park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy, returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service, and Wind Cave appreciates the partnership and support of neighbors and they are glad to be able to give back by helping to sustain local communities.
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).
Anyone interested in downloading the report can go to:  http://www.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/economics.cfm 
The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state.
To learn more about national parks in South Dakota and how the National Park Service works with communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go towww.nps.gov/SouthDakota.
(Story courtesy National Park Service)


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