Mount Rainier visitors spent almost $37M in 2012

Mount Rainier visitors spent almost $37M in 2012
You've got to go up pretty high to get above the fog. View of Mt. Rainier from White Pass area. Photo by Action News viewer Angie Olson

MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK NEWS RELEASE -- A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that just over one million visitors to Mount Rainier National Park in 2012 spent $36.8M in communities surrounding the park. This spending supported over 430 jobs in the local area, not including the 100-110 permanent and 180-200 seasonal staff working directly for the park and another 450-500 commercial concessions service employees in or near the park. 

“Mount Rainier National Park is an icon of the Pacific Northwest, and serves as inspiration today, as it has for centuries. The park is also home to a nationally significant set of places that tell an important part of the history of the National Park Service,” said park Deputy Superintendent Tracy Swartout. “The mountain attracts visitors from across the U.S. and around the world. While their destination may be the park, they also spend time and money in our local communities.” National park tourism is also a significant driver in the national economy – returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service.

The information on Mount Rainier National Park is part of a peer-reviewed spending analysis of national park visitors across the country conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Christopher Huber, and Lynne Koontz for the National Park Service. The report shows $14.7 billion of direct spending by 283 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 243,000 jobs nationally, with 201,000 jobs found in these gateway communities, and had a cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy of $26.75 billion.

According to the report, most visitor spending supports jobs in restaurants, grocery and convenience stores (39%), hotels, motels and B&Bs (27%), and other amusement and recreation (20%). For more information on the Economic Impact reporting across the National Park Service, visit: http://www.nps.gov/news/econ_b-roll.htm. To download the report itself, visit http://www.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/economics.cfm