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$220 Million for Maryland: It's a Park Thing

PHOTO: A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows NPS lands, such as Catoctin Mountain Park, are connected to more than $217 million a year in tourism spending in Maryland. CREDIT: NPS
PHOTO: A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows NPS lands, such as Catoctin Mountain Park, are connected to more than $217 million a year in tourism spending in Maryland. CREDIT: NPS
March 6, 2014

BETHESDA, Md. – National parks, monuments, trails and historic sites are pumping nearly $200 million into Maryland's economy each year.

A National Park Service report shows more than 6 million visits to National Park Service lands in Maryland in 2012.

It's expected numbers may be lower for 2013 because of the government shutdown.

Craig Dalby, chief of public information programs for the National Park Service, says money flows into the state in various ways.

"The flight to a place, for example, renting a car, getting to the place,” he explains. “And, then of course, spending money at the location or near the park. That all generates economic activity.”

There are 17 national parks and nearly 100 additional park properties in Maryland.

The report shows that national park tourism returns $10 to local economies for every $1 invested in the National Park Service.

The report also found National Park Service lands are connected to about 27,000 jobs.

"The economic activity that is generated from visitors going to parks does have that effect of creating work for people," Dalby says.

According to the report, 39 percent of visitor spending supports jobs in restaurants, grocery and convenience stores.

Lodging accounts for 27 percent and other amusement and recreation account for 20 percent.



Deborah Courson Smith/Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - MD