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Grand Canyon draws nearly $1 billion in economic benefit

(Twitter Photo)

PHOENIX — A report released Tuesday by the National Park Service showed the Grand Canyon had a total benefit on the local economy of $904.3 million in 2016.

The report showed that nearly six million people visited the Arizona tourist attraction last year, spending $648.1 million in nearby communities. That spending helped fund 9,779 jobs.

“We are delighted to share the story of this place and the experiences it provides,” said park Superintendent Chris Lehnertz in the statement. “We also feature the park as a way to introduce our visitors to this part of the country and all that it offers.

“National park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy, returning more than $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service, and it’s a big factor in our local economy as well.”

The study was done by the U.S. Geological Survey’s Catherine Cullinane Thomas and the National Park Service’s Lynne Koontz. They found that communities within 60 miles of a U.S. national park saw a total of $18.4 billion in direct spending and a total economic benefit of $34.9 billion.

More than half of that spending came from either lodging or food and drinks.

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