Natl. Park Service Sites Bring Millions of Dollars to Western Slope, Report Finds

Jul 21, 2014

Visitors to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park spent $10.2 million in communities near the site last year, according to a federal report.
Credit J. Schwartz

A new report found areas managed by the National Park Service received over 273 million visitors last year and those visitors spent $14.6 billion in local gateway communities.

The NPS report found tourism at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and Curecanti National Recreation Area had an economic impact of $43.5 million in 2013. 

"Black unique because of its steep and narrow canyon," Sandra Snell-Dobert, the public information officer for both sites, said. "If you haven’t been there it’s pretty spectacular. People stand on the rim and they’re literally in awe."

Snell-Dobert said the main attraction at Curecanti is its fishery.

"We have trout and kokanee salmon," she said. "People visit mainly for fishing but also for all sorts of water recreation.”

The report said visitors to the Colorado National Monument spent more than $24 million in nearby communities last year.

The National Park Service manages 401 sites across the nation.