National park tourism in the Black Hills area creates $301.4 million in economic benefit

Bison Crossing Road

Visitor spending in 2021 from Black Hills area national parks supported 3,362 jobs. (NPS Photo)

KEYSTONE, S.D. — According to a National Park Service report, 3.6 million people visited Black Hills area national parks and spent $231.6 million in the state in 2021.

The report said that spending resulted in 3,362 jobs and resulted in a $301.4 million benefit to the state economy.

“National parks are a vital part of our nation’s economy, especially for park gateway communities where millions of visitors each year find a place to sleep and eat, hire outfitters and guides and make use of other local services that help drive a vibrant tourism and outdoor recreation industry,” said Mount Rushmore Superintendent Michelle Wheatley. “Visitors to the Black Hills area can find exciting new recreational opportunities and learning experiences in and around our five national parks.”

The visitor spending analysis shows $20.5 billion of direct spending by more than 297 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park, and this spending supported 322,600 jobs nationally. 269,900 of those jobs were found in these particular communities.

The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $42.5 billion.

For visitor spending, the lodging sector had the highest direct effects with $7 billion in economic output nationally. As for the restaurants sector, they had the second greatest effects with $4.2 billion in economic output nationally.

National parks in the Black Hills area include Badlands National Park, Jewel Cave National Monument, Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, Mount Rushmore National Memorial and Wind Cave National Park.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News