A new National Park Service (NPS) report for 2011 shows that the 650,000 visitors to national park lands in the Santa Monica Mountains spent $26 million in the surrounding community. This spending supported 350 jobs in the local area.
The report only studied the number of visitors to national park-owned lands, which comprise only 15 percent of the recreation area. The total number of visitors to the Santa Monica Mountains, including lands managed by the state and counties, is well into the millions.
“The Santa Monica Mountains are a destination for outdoor enthusiasts of every stripe,” said park superintendent David Szymanski. “Whether they’re coming for the trails, beaches or a scenic drive on the Pacific Coast or Mulholland Highways, these visitors spend money that helps support local businesses.”
The information on Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is part of a peer-reviewed spending analysis of national park visitors across the country conducted by Michigan State University for the National Park Service. For 2011, that report shows $13 billion of direct spending by 279 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. That visitor spending had a $30 billion impact on the entire U.S. economy and supported 252,000 jobs nationwide.
Most visitor spending supports jobs in lodging, food, and beverage service (63 percent) followed by recreation and entertainment (17 percent), other retail (11 percent), transportation and fuel (7 percent) and wholesale and manufacturing (2 percent). To download the report, visit www.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/products.cfm#MGM and click on “Economic Benefits to Local Communities from National Park Visitation, 2011.”
The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state.
To learn more about national parks in California and how the National Park Service works with communities to preserve local history, conserve the environment and provide local recreation opportunities, go to www.nps.gov/california.