Register-Herald: National Parks of Southern WV Worth $60 Million to Local Economies in 2014

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rafting the gauleyBy Sarah Plummer

GLEN JEAN — The three National Parks of southern West Virginia had a $60.5 million cumulative impact on the area’s economy in 2014, according to a National Park Service report released Thursday.

The 2014 National Park Visitor Spending Effects Report shows that 1,280,604 visitors experienced the New River Gorge National River, Bluestone National Scenic River, and Gauley River National Recreation Area in 2014 and spent $53,448,900 in communities near the park.

That spending supported 808 jobs and generated additional economic impact.

There were a total of 1,124,799 recreation visits to the New River Gorge National River with $47 million spend. Bluestone National Scenic River was 38,450 visits and $1.58 million spend and the Gauley River National Recreation Area saw 117,355 visits and $4.85 million spend.

According to the 2014 report, most park visitor spending across the U.S. was for lodging (30.6 percent) followed by food and beverages (20.3 percent), gas and oil (11.9 percent), admissions and fees (10.2 percent) and souvenirs and other expenses (9.9 percent).

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