A new National Park Service report shows that in 2015 2.3 million visitors to Cuyahoga Valley National Park spent $144 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 2,415 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $203 million.
The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economist Catherine Cullinane Thomas and National Park Service economist Lynne Koontz.
According to Cuyahoga Valley National Park Superintendent Craig Kenkel-
“Cuyahoga Valley National Park welcomes visitors from across the country and around the world, we are delighted to share the story of this place and the experiences it provides. National park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy, returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service, and it’s a big factor in our local economy as well. We appreciate the partnership and support of our neighbors and are glad to be able to give back by helping to sustain local communities.”
The Cuyahoga Valley National Park is within the 110-mile Ohio & Erie Canalway National Heritage Area, designated by Congress to help preserve and celebrate the rails, trails, landscapes, towns and sites that grew up along the Ohio & Erie Canal that helped Ohio and our nation grow. The Ohio & Erie Canalway National Heritage Area is an affiliated unit of the National Park Service.
“The economic benefits attributed in the Economic Impact study spill over both north and south into the National Heritage Area from Cleveland to New Philadelphia” stated Dan Rice and Tim Donovan, Directors of the Ohio & Erie Canalway National Heritage Area.
According to the 2015 report, most park visitor spending was for lodging (31.1 percent) followed by food and beverages (20.2 percent), gas and oil (11.8 percent), admissions and fees (10.2 percent) and souvenirs and other expenses (9.8 percent).
To learn more about national parks in Ohio and how the National Park Service works with Ohio communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to www.nps.gov/OHIO.