National parks give Wyoming a financial boost

DENVER, Co. (NPS) A new National Park Service report shows that 7,461,666 people visited national parks in Wyoming in 2016, and spent $945.3 million in the state. That visitation and spending supported 13,431 jobs and had a cumulative benefit to the state economy of $1,180,400,000. The results represent a 6.2 percent increase in spending and 2.9 percent rise in visitation over 2015.

The report shows $18.4 billion of direct spending by 331 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 318,000 jobs nationally, with 271,544 of those jobs in these park gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $34.9 billion.

According to the 2016 report, most park visitor spending, by percentage, was for lodging (31.2 percent), followed by food and beverages (27.2), gas and oil (11.7), admissions and fees (10.2), souvenirs and other expenses (9.7), local transportation (7.4), and camping fees (2.5).