Visitor spending at Crater Lake has economic benefit

The cumulative benefit to the local economy in 2017 was $80.6 million.

Posted: May 4, 2018 4:25 PM
Updated: May 4, 2018 4:29 PM

CRATER LAKE, Ore. -- A new National Park Service report shows that in 2017 visitors to Crater Lake spent $59.9 million in communities near the park, supporting 981 local jobs.

That spending, by the almost 712,000 people who visited last year, had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $80.6 million, according to a news release from Crater Lake National Park.

Park visitor spending in 2017:

  • Lodging/camping: 32.9 percent
  • Food and beverages: 27.5 percent
  • Gas and oil: 12.1 percent
  • Souvenirs and other expenses: 10.1 percent
  • Admissions and fees: 10.0 percent
  • Local transportation: 7.5 percent

“Crater Lake National Park welcomes visitors from across the state, country and around the world,” said Acting Superintendent Sean Denniston. “We are honored to protect this special park and share its story and the experiences it provides. We also feature the park as a way to introduce our visitors to southern Oregon and all that this region has to offer. 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. We appreciate the partnership and support of our neighbors and are glad to be able to give back by helping to sustain local communities.”

Economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas of the U.S. Geological Survey and Lynne Koontz of the National Park Service conducted the peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis.

The report shows $18.2 billion of direct spending by more than 330 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 306,000 jobs nationally with 255,900 of those jobs in these gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $35.8 billion.

The lodging sector received the highest direct contributions with $5.5 billion in economic output to local gateway economies and 49,000 jobs. The restaurants sector received the next greatest direct contributions with $3.7 billion in economic output to local gateway economies and 60,500 jobs.

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