A recent study of the economic impact of the national parks conducted by Michigan State University economist Daniel Stynes found that Shenandoah National Park has an $88-million-a-year impact on the communities around it and supports more than 1,400 jobs.
In 2010, over 1.2 million people visited Shenandoah National Park. Nearly 302,000 stayed at least one night in neighboring communities—and spent money on food, lodging and other items. The study estimated that spending by people who traveled to the park from outside the area generated some 968 jobs, while day travel by area residents generated another 119 jobs. In addition, Shenandoah National Park employs some 235 people, who receive $13.3 million in salary and benefits. Those employees’ spending generated an additional 80 jobs with associated salaries and benefits of $3 million.
“The people and the business owners in communities near national parks have always known their economic value,” said park Superintendent Martha Bogle. “Shenandoah National Park is clean green fuel for the engine that drives our local economy.”