Photo Alex von Kleydorff 06-15-11

A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 38,095 visitors to Weir Farm National Historic Site in 2017 spent $2,178,100 in communities near the park. That spending supported 24 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $2,934,600. Spending from additional National Park Service sites in the state supported an additional two jobs, for a total of 26 jobs supported by visitor spending in Connecticut.

“Weir Farm National Historic Site welcomes visitors from across the country and around the world,” says superintendent Linda Cook. “We are delighted to share the story of this place and the experiences it provides. We also feature the park as a way to introduce our visitors to this part of the country and all that it offers. National Park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy, returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service, and it’s a big factor in our local economy as well. 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 of national parks across the country was conducted by economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas of the U.S. Geological Survey and Lynne Koontz of the National Park Service. The report shows $18.2 billion of direct spending by more than 330 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 306,000 jobs nationally; 255,900 of those jobs are found in gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $35.8 billion.

The lodging sector received the highest direct contributions with $5.5 billion in economic output to local gateway economies and 49,000 jobs. The restaurants sector received the next greatest direct contributions with $3.7 billion in economic output to local gateway economies and 60,500 jobs.

According to the 2017 report, most park visitor spending was for lodging/camping (32.9%) followed by food and beverages (27.5%), gas and oil (12.1%), souvenirs and other expenses (10.1%), admissions and fees (10%), and local transportation (7.5%).

Report authors also produce an interactive tool that enables users to explore visitor spending, jobs, labor income, value added, and output effects by sector for national, state, and local economies. Users can also view year-by-year trend data. The interactive tool and report are available at the NPS Social Science Program webpage.

To learn more about national parks in Connecticut and how the National Park Service works with Connecticut communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to the CT page on the NPS website.

About Weir Farm National Historic Site:  Visit the home and studio of America’s most beloved Impressionist, J. Alden Weir, and walk in the footsteps of a world-class artist. Set against a rural Connecticut landscape that has been painted by thousands of artists from 1882 to the present, Weir Farm is a national legacy of American Impressionism and the creative spirit. Explore this National Park for the Arts and experience what Weir described as “The Great Good Place.” Learn more online and visit Weir Farm on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.