The more than 11 million people who made their way to one of the four Rocky Mountain region national parks in 2010 left a trail of money in their wake. The collective spent roughly $1 billion on their respective trips to Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park and Glacier National Park, a new study by Michigan State University reports.
“When you look at these kinds of figures and realize that every visitor means over $90 to the area economy, it reinforces the significant role that visitors to the park play,” Yellowstone spokesman Al Nash told the Bozeman Daily Chronicle as reported by The Associated Press.
Towns in Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho located within 60 miles of Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons profited the most from tourists, drawing 6.3 million visitors who spent $758 million in 2010. Nationwide, the study found that 281 million visitors spent roughly $12 million in similar “gateway” towns.