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It’s not often that you reach the top of a climb amid one of Colorado’s spectacular national parks, stare out upon a beautiful vista, and hear the cha-ching of money. In fact, for many, roaming the Centennial State’s exquisite parks is a form of escapism—a way to forget about such things as dollars and cents. And yet, in addition to providing visitors with serene moments, Colorado’s national parks—and parks nationwide—are moneymakers. “The state’s millions of park visitors, and the people of Colorado who live and work in communities near its national parks, are investors in these treasures of our heritage,” said John Wessels, a regional director with the park system. “The money that visitors spend on national park trips has positive effects on the local, state, and national economies.” Here, a look at the economic impact national parks have on the economy, according to a recent report by the National Parks Service.
12 National parks in the Centennial State.
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5.8 million Visitors of Colorado’s 12 national parks in 2011.
$334 million Money spent by visitors of Colorado’s national parks in 2011.
4,809 Colorado jobs supported by visitors of Centennial State’s national parks.
398 Spots in the national park system nationwide.
$30 billion Economic impact visitors of the country’s national parks had in 2011.
252,000 Jobs supported by visitors of the country’s national parks.
—Image Courtesy of Shutterstock