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Glen Canyon recreation area adds $190 million to local economy, study shows

Glen Canyon recreation area adds $190 million to local economy, study shows

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SALT LAKE CITY — A recent financial study shows an uptick in tourism and economic activity in one of Utah’s most visited recreational areas.

The Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, home to Lake Powell and Cataract Canyon, drew an estimated $190 million in local revenue during 2012. A recent National Park Service report outlines the findings, conducted by an group of economists working for the U.S. Geological Survey. The study combined economic information taken from the nearby Rainbow Bridge National Monument, located in Arizona.

More than $14 billion of spending by 283 million park visitors comprised the bulk of the revenue, according to the study. An estimated 243,000 jobs were supported nationally by either direct spending or by imported goods and services, and the total benefit to the U.S. economy is factored at $26.75 billion.

The NPS has been studying visitor spending and the resulting effects on economies for 24 years.

"Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Rainbow Bridge National Monument are proud to welcome visitors from across the country and around the world," Park Superintendent Todd Brindle said. “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.”

The most recent analysis compared spending rates between those who visited the park on a day trip and those who stayed overnight. It also compared economic data of campers who spent money inside the actual recreational areas and stayed overnight in campgrounds to those who stayed in nearby accommodations and visited other areas.

The restaurant and food industry received the bulk of the revenue from tourism, with hotels and motels coming in second and recreation and amusement bringing in the least amount of money.

Brindle said he’s been happy to see the way the local economy has benefited from tourism to the area.

“We appreciate the partnership and support of our neighbors and are glad to be able to give back by helping to sustain local communities,” he said.

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Robynn Garfield

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