A National Park Service report recently highlighted the significant contributions these parks play in the Northwest economy. In Washington last year, 8.5 million National Park and National Monument visits contributed $508 million to gateway areas, supported more than 6,500 jobs, and cumulatively benefited local economies by $677 million.
While Washington’s three biggest National Parks, Mount Rainier, Olympic and North Cascades, account for sizable portions of the economic contribution, the study also revealed that lesser known sites, like Lake Chelan and Lake Roosevelt, drew 3.6 million visitors that spent $176 million and contributed $227 million overall to the state economy. “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,” says Olympic National Park Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum.
The National Parks Service has been conducting this study annually since 2012. They collaborate with the U.S. Geological Survey, and the visitor spending is measured at national, state and local levels. Learn more at Nps.gov/subjects/socialscience/vse.htm. //
Suggested Reading: Climbing Mt. Rainier