Thursday, December 18, 2014

A&M Study: Texas State Parks Good for Economy

Tourists and visitors to Texas State Parks create an economic boost for nearby towns, generating income and jobs for local communities and growing the state economy, according to a recent study from Texas A&M University. In a nutshell, Texas State Parks:
  • Generate $774 million in retail sales annually,
  • Contribute $351 million in economic benefits, and
  • Create 5,800 jobs statewide.
“The take-away message from this study should be that the state park system is an important contributor to the Texas economy, particularly in rural areas and that the state’s net investment in parks is returned many times over as visitors travel to enjoy the outdoors and leave their dollars behind,” according to Dr. John Crompton, research team leader.
The study, also posted to the Texas Parks and Wildlife blog, surveyed nearly 14,000 state park visitors between March and June of 2014 and found that purchases made by park visitors result in greater wealth and employment in communities located near state parks.
Some of the findings:
  • Balmorhea — $2.3 million in value added; 50.3 jobs
  • Bastrop — $1.7 million in value added; 35.6 jobs
  • Big Bend Ranch — $1.9 million in value added; 27 jobs.
  • Cedar Hill — $3.1 million in value added; 41.7 jobs
  • Garner — $6.9 million in value added; 16.1 jobs
  • McKinney Falls — $883,146 in value added; 16.1 jobs
  • Palo Duro Canyon — $3.7 million in value added; 86 jobs
  • Pedernales Falls — $1.7 million in value added; 41.1 jobs
Read the full Crompton study.
For more on Texas's state parks, check out On Politics and Parks by George Bristol and Texas State Parks and the CCC: The Legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps by Cynthia Brandimarte with Angela Reed.

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