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Metro Atlanta’s national parks have $268M economic impact
by Staff Reports
March 04, 2014 03:53 PM | 2652 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The three National Park Service units in metro Atlanta tell the stories of the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement and protect more than half of the area’s public greenspace. And according to a new report released Monday by the service, the 5.8 million visitors to the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site and the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, including parks in Sandy Springs and Vinings, in 2012 spent $268 million in the metro area. This spending supported 3,900 jobs.

“This is an exciting year for us as we commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain,” said Superintendent Nancy Walther, “and we welcome visitors from across the country and around the world.”

“National park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy,” said Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area Superintendent Bill Cox. “Parks return $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 business.”

In 2012, Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area had 3.2 million visitors, who spent $125.8 million in the area, supporting 1,775 local jobs.

The data on Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, Martin Luther King Jr., National Historic Site and Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area come from a peer-reviewed spending analysis conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Christopher Huber and Lynne Koontz for the service. The report shows $14.7 billion of direct spending by 283 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 243,000 jobs nationally, with 201,000 jobs found in these gateway communities, and had a cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy of $26.75 billion.

According to the report most visitor spending supports jobs in restaurants, grocery and convenience stores (39 percent), hotels, motels and bed and breakfasts (27 percent) and other amusement and recreation (20 percent).

To download the report, visit

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

For video content related to this news release, visit


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