Courtesy of Grand Canyon National Park
On Armed Forces Day (Saturday, May 19), Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent Dave Uberuaga issued the park’s first two America the Beautiful Passes for Military to Sergeants Lozier and Morse of Camp Navajo.
“Grand Canyon National Park is proud to recognize the brave men and women who sacrifice so much to protect our country,” said Superintendent Uberuaga. “The national parks are a part of the heritage of all Americans…a part of the legacy and way of life our servicemen and women protect. With these passes, we hope to increase the opportunities for military personnel to see and share that heritage with their families.”
The America the Beautiful Pass for Military is a part of the Joining Forces initiative. This new pass provides active duty military personnel and their dependents with free access to almost 2,000 national parks, wildlife refuges, national forests and other public lands across the country that ordinarily charge an entrance fee.
For more information on the new military pass or how to acquire one, please visit the National Park Service.
Photo by Scott J Horwath Photography
A National Park Service (NPS) report shows that almost 4.4 million visitors spent more than $415 million in Grand Canyon National Park and in gateway regions around the park in 2010. In addition, visitor spending supported 6,167 jobs in the local area. The four economic/job sectors most impacted by this visitor spending were lodging, restaurants, retail trade, and entertainment/amusement.
“Grand Canyon National Park is an international icon, attracting visitors from around the world. It’s no surprise that it has a substantial impact on the local economy,” said Grand Canyon Superintendent Dave Uberuaga. “The opportunity to engage in a wide array of popular recreational activities in one of the world’s premier geologic landscapes is a tremendous draw for tourism dollars.”
These figures are based on $12.1 billion of direct spending by 281 million visitors in and around 394 national park units around the country and are included in an annual, peer-reviewed, visitor spending analysis conducted by Dr. Daniel Stynes of Michigan State University for the National Park Service. According to the analysis, the 22 national park units in Arizona alone attracted more than 10.5 million visitors who spent approximately $671 million and supported 9,661 jobs in the state.
Across the U.S., local visitor spending added a total of $31 billion to the national economy and supported more than 258,000 jobs, an increase of $689 million and 11,500 jobs over 2009.