NPS - National Park Service

05/24/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/25/2019 15:44

Tourism to Tonto National Monument Creates $2.4 Million in Economic Benefits

May 24, 2019
Contact:Eric Schreiner, 928-467-2241 x400

Roosevelt, AZ - A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 39,800 visitors to Tonto National Monument in 2018 spent $2.4 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 36 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $3.5 million.

'We are delighted to share the story of the Salado cliff dwellings and other remarkable cultural sites with our local visitors and others from around the world,' said Superintendent Duane Hubbard. 'National park tourism is a significant driver in the national and local Gila County economy. We appreciate the partnership and support of our neighbors and are glad to give back by helping to sustain local communities.'

The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Egan Cornachione of the U.S. Geological Survey and Lynne Koontz of the National Park Service. The report shows $20.2 billion of direct spending by more than 318 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 329,000 jobs nationally; 268,000 of those jobs are found in these gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $40.1 billion.
Lodging expenses account for the largest share of visitor spending, about $6.8 billion in 2018. Food expenses are the second largest spending area and visitors spent $4 billion in restaurants and bars and another $1.4 billion at grocery and convenience stores.

Visitor spending on lodging supported more than 58,000 jobs and more than 61,000 jobs in restaurants. Visitor spending in the recreation industries supported more than 28,000 jobs and spending in retail supported more than 20,000 jobs.

Report authors also produce an interactive tool that enables users to explore visitor spending, jobs, labor income, value added, and output effects by sector for national, state, and local economies. Users can also view year-by-year trend data. The interactive tool and report are available at the NPS Social Science Program webpage:

To learn more about national parks in Arizona and how the National Park Service works with Arizona communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to

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