BOULDER CITY, NV (KXNT) – It may appear to be a lot of nothing but empty space, some water and a gigantic dam, but Lake Mead National Recreation Area is actually a boon to the Southern Nevada economy.

A new National Park Service report shows that 7.2 million people visited Lake Mead in 2016, and spent $312.6 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 4,172 jobs in the local area and had a benefit to the local economy of $369 million.

“Lake Mead National Recreation Area welcomes visitors from across the country and around the world,” said Superintendent Lizette Richardson. “We are delighted to share the story of America’s most diverse national recreation aea and the enjoyable experiences it provides,” she said.

“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,” added Richardson. “We appreciate the partnership and support of our neighbors and are glad to be able to give back by helping to sustain local communities.”

The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was done by economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas of the U.S. Geological Survey and Lynne Koontz of the National Park Service.

Top 10: Visitor spending units of the National Park System (2016)

  1. Blue Ridge Parkway: $979.3 million
  2. Great Smoky Mountains National Park: $942.7 million
  3. Grand Canyon National Park: $647.1 million

9.       Lake Mead National Recreation Area: $312.6 million


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