Report details southern Utah parks' impact on economy

Published: Friday, March 22 2013 12:00 p.m. MDT

A waterfall is blown in the wind as a spot of sunlight illuminates it in Zion National Park, Utah.

Ravell Call, Deseret News

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ST. GEORGE — A new National Park Service report for 2011 shows that the 3,376,000 visitors to Zion National Park, Cedar Breaks National Monument, and Pipe Spring National Monument spent $159,975,000 in communities surrounding the parks.

This spending supported 2,614 jobs in the local area.

The information on the three parks is part of a peer-reviewed spending analysis of national park visitors across the country conducted by Michigan State University for the National Park Service.

For 2011, the report shows $13 billion of direct spending by 279 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. The visitor spending had a $30 billion impact on the entire U.S. economy and supported 252,000 jobs nationwide.

Most visitor spending supports jobs in lodging, food, and beverage services (63 percent), followed by recreation and entertainment (17 percent), other retail (11 percent), transportation and fuel (7 percent), and wholesale and manufacturing (2 percent).

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