The National Parks surrounding Utah are providing a boost to the economy, according to a report by the National Parks Service. Specifically, Southern Utah received $433 million in economic benefits due to national park visitors in 2014.
Visitors come to the area and they need transportation, fuel, food and places to stay. The prime real estate in St. George means residents reap a lot of the rewards of visitor spending.
The study reports that most of the spending went towards lodging, followed by food and then gas and oil. Since Washington County is usually the last stop for many people traveling to these national parks, most of that money is going into the St. George economy. For every $1 spent on National Parks, there is a $10 return on investment, reports St. George News.
Utah ranked 7th in the nation in National Parks spending in 2014. Both Zion’s National Park and Bryce Canyon broke visiting records, with 3.2 million visitors coming to Zion’s and Bryce Canyon visitation jumping 9% over 2013. Since the economy is recovering, more people are traveling and going on vacation again.
St. George can expect that jump in visitors to affect its local economy for the better. And residents do a lot to make National Parks so attractive to patrons. “Park directors credit their partnership with local communities for helping to make the visitor experience a success,” reports the Deseret News.
There is a large tourist industry in St. George that provides hotels, good restaurants and family fun activities in the area. And while residents can enjoy the economic benefits of tourism, they also get to enjoy the attractions themselves. There are several national parks a short drive from St. George that can be enjoyed by residents, especially during the off season.
The communities of Southern Utah are gorgeous and are enjoyed by many people all year long. St. George residents get to enjoy these parks at their convenience, and also enjoy the economic benefits associated with park visitors and tourism.