MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A new report shows just how much national parks benefit the local economy.

The National Park Service report from 2012 showed that the 163,419 people that visited the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Bayfiled, Wis. spent a collective $24 million during their visits.

Additionally, 330 jobs were created in surrounding communities.

This was all before the ice caves on Lake Superior were accessible.

“This new report shows that national park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy, returning $10 for every $1 invested, and funding generated by national parks has a swift and direct positive impact on local economies,” park superintendent Bob Krumenaker said.

According to the report, visitors spend the most in restaurants, grocery and convenience stores at 39 percent. Lodging and other recreation follow close behind at 27 and 20 percent respectively.

Already this year, more than 60,000 people have visited the caves.


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