Study: Colo. national park tourism brought in $347 million

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Rocky Mountain National Park

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DENVER — Tourism to Colorado’s national parks brought in $347 million in economic benefits, a National Park Service study released Monday found.

The report looked at tourism at national parks in 2012. About 5.8 million people visited national parks in Colorado that year.

“From Mesa Verde to Dinosaur National Monument, the national parks of Colorado attract millions of visitors a year from across the country and around the world,” said Sue Masica, director of NPS’s Intermountain Region, which includes Colorado and seven other states.  “This new report confirms that national park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy,  returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service. This reality makes parks tourism an important factor in Colorado’s economy as well.”

The national report shows $14.7 billion of direct spending by 283 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park.

According to the report, most visitor spending supports jobs in restaurants, grocery and convenience stores (39 percent), hotels, motels and B&Bs (27 percent), and other amusement and recreation (20 percent).

  • Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colo.

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