Tag Archives: Tourism

Report Details Economic Impact of Arizona’s National Parks

Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, near Flagstaff | Courtesy of National Park Service

Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, near Flagstaff | Courtesy of National Park Service

Nearly 10 million people visited Arizona’s national parks in 2012, and those visitors spent $745.6 million here — enough to support 11,470 jobs in the state — according to a National Park Service report released March 3.

The report also confirms an often-repeated anecdote about national parks: For every $1 invested in the Park Service, $10 in economic impact is generated.

The Park Service’s findings were part of a peer-reviewed study that analyzed visitor spending at parks throughout the U.S. Nationally, the report found, the 283 million visitors to national parks in 2012 spent $14.7 billion at communities within 60 miles of the park they were visiting. That spending supported 243,000 jobs and had a cumulative economic benefit of $26.75 billion, the report said.

To read the full report, click here.


Filed under Mother Nature, News

Making Labor Day Plans? River-Rafting Company, Other Page Businesses Need Your Help

Photo courtesy of Colorado River Discovery.

Photo courtesy of Colorado River Discovery.

The closure of U.S. Route 89 south of Page has cut that town’s most direct link to the rest of the state, forcing visitors to take a 45-mile detour to reach the picturesque southern bank of Lake Powell. The closure has had a profound effect on Page businesses, many of which rely on tourism. Korey Seyler works at Colorado River Discovery, a river-rafting company. Seyler spoke with Arizona Highways about how his business and the town are coping with the closure.

If you’re looking for a great way to get out of the heat, head up to Page and raft Glen Canyon — or visit the town’s other businesses, which could really use your help right now. For more information on Colorado River Discovery, call 888-522-6644 or visit http://www.raftthecanyon.com.

Tell us about Colorado River Discovery.
We offer full-day and half-day trips on the Colorado River through Glen Canyon. This area is incredibly scenic and beautiful, and it allows people to get on the river and see the canyon from a different perspective. We’ve been in business since 2007, and our owners have more than 70 combined years of experience on the river.

How has the closure affected your business, and what are you doing to mitigate those effects?
It’s had a large effect, not only from an operations standpoint but also in inconvenience to our guests. We used to take people down to Lee’s Ferry and bus them back to Page. Now, with the closure, the road trip from Lee’s Ferry back to Page takes three hours.

To avoid that much of a trip back, we now take rafters back upstream, through Horseshoe Bend. That allows people to experience Glen Canyon Dam, the petroglyphs and some of the other great views along the route. Unfortunately, we’ve also had quite a few cancellations because of the additional 45 minutes it takes to get up here.

Are other businesses in Page hurting?
Everyone is taking a hit. Page has seen tourism increases of 8 percent to 10 percent per year in recent years, and I would estimate this year has been about a 10 percent decline from last year.

Are you hearing a lot of complaints about the detour?
The biggest problem that we’ve seen with the detour is the use of technology to try to get here. Some people are blindly following their GPS or cellphones to try to get to Page, and they miss the detour. Then, once they reach the closure, it’s an even longer drive to Page because they have to double back.

What should people who haven’t visited Page know about the town?
I’ve been here for seven years now, but Page has been a hidden gem for a long time. There are an incredible number of activities here — Lake Powell, the Colorado River and the slot canyons, to name a few. Probably the most important of all of those is that Page is right in the middle of a “grand circle” of national parks — Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Mesa Verde and so on. You can use Page as a “hub” and be able to get to all those national parks fairly quickly.

The temporary route [Indian Route 20] will be open soon, and that will eliminate the extra drive time. The extra 45 minutes it takes to get here is worth it to be able to spend a night in Page. If you spend two days here, you’re going to see some incredible things.

For the latest updates on the status of U.S. 89, visit www.azdot.gov/US89.


—Noah Austin


Filed under Loco for Local, Make a Difference, Things to Do

Friday Fotos: Let’s Go Camping in Arizona

Ron Pelton Jr | Roosevelt Lake

Ron Pelton Jr | Roosevelt Lake

In honor of the newest addition to our collection of guidebooks — the Arizona Highways Camping Guide — this week’s Friday Fotos gallery features several gorgeous campgrounds from around Arizona. If you’d like to see more spectacular campgrounds, pick up our book and don’t forget to enter promo code P3A8SC to receive $2 off your purchase.

Happy Friday, and enjoy!

By submitting photographs to Arizona Highways via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr or other social networking sites, the photographer grants Arizona Highways electronic rights. No financial consideration will be paid to anyone for publication on the Arizona Highways blog or Website.

By publishing a photographer’s work to its blog, Arizona Highways does not endorse the photographer’s private business or claim responsibility for any business relationships entered into between the photographer and our readers


Filed under Covers

Several Resorts Make Condé Nast Traveler magazine’s Top 100 List

View from the Camelback Inn

Good news on the tourism front (and for those in search of some pampering)… According to the Phoenix Business Journal, 10 resorts landed on Condé Nast Traveler magazine’s new 2012 list of the Top 100 resort spas in the U.S. mainland.

Check it out:

Two of those top-ranked Arizona resorts landed in the top ten of the magazine’s list — The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain located in Marana just outside of Tucson landed in third place. The Mii Amo resort, in the popular Northern Arizona tourist hub of Sedona, tied for seventh with the Stowe Mountain Lodge in Vermont.

The third Arizona pick on the list was the Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa in Paradise Valley, which came in at No. 26.

Reader feedback put three resorts in Scottsdale and two others in Tuscon on the magazine’s list.

Scottsdale’s JW Marriott Camelback Inn landed No. 72 while the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess and Royal Palms Resort and Spa in Phoenix tied for No. 77 along with Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa in Florida. The Phoenician in Scottsdale tied with three other resorts outside Arizona for the No. 80 spot.

In Tucson, the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa ranked 30th on the list, while Miraval Resort & Spa came in at No. 73.

Arizona also capped off the magazine’s list with the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa at No. 100.

Condé Nast Traveler compiled this year’s spa rankings from its Readers’ Choice Survey, in which nearly 29,000 respondents rated spas nationwide based on their facilities, treatments and staff.

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Filed under Loco for Local

Grand Canyon National Park = Visitors, Money and Jobs for Local Economy

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.




Filed under Et Cetera

Help Support Arizona’s State Parks…

Dead Horse Ranch by Derek Von Briesen

Arizona is incredibly fortunate to have so many magnificent state parks and natural areas — that’s the good news. Here’s more good news: Some 2.2 million people visit these sites each year. Translation? Tourism is great for Arizona’s economy, something that affects every single person who lives in this state.

Now, for the bad news: You may have heard in the news recently that many of these sites and parks are in danger of being closed; or even worse, the entire parks system could completely collapse due to a lack of funding.

With 31 state parks at risk, including the stunning landscapes at Red Rock State Park, the cooling waters at Slide Rock State Park and the magical saguaros at Lost Dutchman State Park, it’s our duty as stewards of our state to help avert this crisis.

Now, AAA Arizona will donate $10 to the Arizona State Parks Foundation for each new auto, home or life insurance quote requested through the rest of the month.

That’s it.

A simple phone call.

Five minutes can really make a big difference.

All you have to do is call (toll-free) 1-866-298-1232 or stop by your local AAA office, and mention “State Parks.”

Need even more motivation to make that call?

In 2007, NAU calculated the economic impact of our state parks to Arizona. It found that directly and indirectly, the parks contributed more than $266 million to our economy, which includes 3,347 jobs and more than $22 million in taxes to state and local governments.

AAA Insurance and the Arizona State Parks Foundation are working hard to overcome these threats by advocating for a sustainable State Park system.

What can we say? We love a great cause like this.

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Filed under Eco Issues, Make a Difference, Mother Nature