Dinosaur generates $20M in economic benefits | SteamboatToday.com

Dinosaur generates $20M in economic benefits

Dinosaur National Monument created more than $20 million in economic benefits to nearby communities in 2016, according to a report recently released by the National Park Service.

The park drew 304,312 visitors in 2016 who spent more than $18 million in communities near the park — such as the town of Dinosaur as well as Jensen and Vernal in Utah — according to the report.

About one third of that spending went towards hotels, almost 20 percent was spent at restaurants and 15 percent was spent on gas.

"We believe the monument is a great way to introduce visitors to this part of the country and all that it offers," park Superintendent Mark Foust said in a statement. "National park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy, returning more than $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service, and it's a big factor in our local economy as well."

The report also revealed that 244 jobs were supported by expenditures related to the park, primarily in the restaurant and hotel industries. Spending increased by $1 million over 2015 levels.