Visitors to national parks in northern Arizona spent $1 billion
FLAGSTAFF, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — Communities in northern Arizona get a big economic boost thanks to national parks, a new report shows. The National Park Service Visitor Spend Effects report for 2022 was recently released, and it shows visitors to the Grand Canyon spent $759 million last year in the so-called “gateway communities,” which is the highest amount since 2019. Those communities include Tusayan, Williams and Cameron.
About $260 million was for hotels, while $135 million was for recreation. Visitors spent $126 million at restaurants. However, the total is far below the record of $947 million seen in 2018. The Grand Canyon has yet to see the number of visitors return to pre-pandemic levels, with 4.7 million visitors in 2022. About 6.4 million people visited the natural wonder in 2018.
Visitors to Lake Mead, on the Arizona-Nevada border, also helped nearby cities and towns. In all, 5.6 million park visitors spent $280 million, supporting 3,020 jobs. Another $75 million was spent on lodging, while $62.3 million was spent on restaurants. Gas came in third at $49.2 million. The total was a significant drop from 2021 when visitors spent a record $374 million in the areas near Lake Mead National Recreation Area.
Other parks in Arizona also made the list. Visitors to the Petrified Forest near Holbrook brought in $36.8 million, while Canyon de Chelly visitors spent $27 million. For the full report, click/tap here.
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