A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 308 thousand visitors to Nez Perce National Historical Park in 2018 spent $18.2 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 244 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $22.4 million.

“Nez Perce National Historical Park brings people from across the country to learn about the Nez Perce story,” said Superintendent Mike Gauthier. “National park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy 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 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: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/socialscience/vse.htm.

The Spalding Visitor Center is 12 miles east of Lewiston at 39063 U.S. Highway 95.  Winter hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m, closed Sunday and Monday from December to February.  In the summer the Visitor Center is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Park Admission is free year round.  For more information, please contact Nez Perce National Historical Park at 208-843-7009, or visit www.nps.gov/nepe or www.facebook.com/DiscoverNezPerceNationalHistoricalPark. www.nps.gov

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 419 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities.

Contact:  Mike Gauthier, 208-843-7011, Mike_gauthier@nps.gov

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