A new report from the National Park Service finds that the record 2.2 million people who visited Glacier National Park in 2010 spent almost $110 million in and around the park.
According to the report, that spending supported 1,695 jobs in the greater Glacier area.
“Glacier National Park has historically been an economic driver in the state,” Glacier Superintendent Chas Cartwright said in a news release. “This report shows the value that the many goods and services provided by local businesses are to the park visitor, as well as employment opportunities for the area.”
Most of the spending and jobs identified in the report are in the lodging, food and beverage sector, at 52 percent, followed by 29 percent in retail, 10 percent in entertainment, 7 percent in transportation and 2 percent in groceries.
2010 was Glacier’s centennial year.
The figures are based on $12 billion in direct spending by 281 million visitors in 394 national parks and surrounding communities that were included in the peer-reviewed visitor spending report by Dr. Daniel Stynes of Michigan State University.
Across the U.S., local visitor spending in and around national parks added a total of $31 billion to the national economy and supported more than 250,000 jobs, an increase of $689 million and 11,500 jobs from 2009.
Regionally, visitors spent $1 billion in and around the four largest national parks.
More than 11 million people who visited Glacier, Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Rocky Mountain national parks also supported 15,412 jobs, according to the study.
The biggest beneficiaries were gateway towns in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho within 60 miles of Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. Those parks drew 6.3 million visitors who spent $758 million in 2010.