Chesterton Tribune


Report Indiana Dunes visitors spent $60M in NWI in 2012

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Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore had 1,889,381 visitors in 2012 who spent close to $60 million in the communities around the National Lakeshore, the National Park Service said.

According to a statement released today, that spending supported more than 800 jobs in the local area. Figures for 2011 show a similar trend.

“People value the National Lakeshore for its scenery, recreation, and historic properties,” Superintendent Constantine Dillon said. “Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is also an economic asset to Northwest Indiana. Surveys indicate 80 percent of visitors come from outside the immediate area and 60 percent of park visitors come from outside the state. That’s money being added to the regional economy.”

Most visitor spending supports jobs in lodging, food, and beverage service (63 percent) followed by recreation and entertainment (17 percent), other retail (11 percent), transportation and fuel (7 percent) and wholesale and manufacturing (2 percent), the statement said.

The information on Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is part of a peer-reviewed spending analysis of national park visitors across the country conducted by Michigan State University for the National Park Service. For 2011, that report shows $13 billion of direct spending by 279 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. That visitor spending had a $30 billion impact on the entire U.S. economy and supported 252,000 jobs nationwide.

“Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore employs 100 people year-round and hires an additional 100 people for the summer season,” the statement said. “These employees live locally, own homes, shop, and pay taxes in the Northwest Indiana region. Direct spending by Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is about $10 million a year paying salaries, buying local goods and services, and hiring local contractors.”

To download the report visit

and click on Economic Benefits to Local Communities from National Park Visitation, 2011. The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state.



Posted 2/26/2013