A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 272,500 visitors to Stones River National Battlefield in 2014 spent $15,282,000 in communities near the park. That spending supported 246 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $20,660,000.
"Stones River National Battlefield welcomes visitors from across the country and around the world," said Superintendent Gayle Hazelwood. "We are delighted to share the story of this place and the experiences it provides. We also feature the park as a way to introduce our visitors to this part of the country and all that it offers. 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." "Stones River National Battlefield offers not only a place to learn about the important stories of the Civil War and Reconstruction, but is also an oasis for recreation, and a sanctuary for wildlife."
The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Christopher Huber and National Park Service economist Lynne Koontz. The report shows $15.7 billion of direct spending by 292.8 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 277,000 jobs nationally; 235,600 of those jobs are found in these gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $29.7 billion.
According to the 2014 report, most park visitor spending was for lodging (30.6 percent) followed by food and beverages (20.3 percent), gas and oil (11.9 percent), admissions and fees (10.2 percent) and souvenirs and other expenses (9.9 percent).
To download the report visit http://www.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/economics.cfm
The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state.
To learn more about national parks in Tennessee and how the National Park Service works with Tennessee communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to www.nps.gov/TENNESSEE.
Pictures from the Battlefield: