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.