By the numbers: Economic impact of national monuments

400-FORT-CASTILLO-150x150Businessmen and women who read Historic City News in St Augustine and St Johns County will be interested to know the results of the most recent annual report of visitor activity and spending generated by our two national monuments.

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).

“Castillo de San Marcos and Fort Matanzas National Monuments have long stood as cornerstones in this city,” Superintendent Gordie Wilson told local reporters. “Today, we are proud to be a part of a vibrant local community and an important piece of the authentic character that greets visitors to this historic city. We appreciate the opportunity to work with local partners and engaged citizens in bringing this important piece of our country’s past alive for this and future generations.”

The new National Park Service report shows 760,707 visitors came to Castillo de San Marcos National Monument in 2014; spending $42,622,800 in the communities near the park. Fort Matanzas National Monument was toured by 568,530 visitors; spending $31,884,900 in local communities.

The report shows that this spending supported 1218 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of approximately $100 Million.

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 nationally by 292.8 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 277,000 jobs nationally;
1218 of those jobs are found in our local communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $29.7 billion.

The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state.

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