The National Park Service report says close to 2.3 million visitors spent money in the communities near the park, which span about 33,000 acres in Summit and Cuyahoga Counties.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park Spokeswoman Pamela Barnes says one reason for that may be that visitation has changed in the past decade, with many more out-of-towners visiting national parks.
“One thing I do hear our rangers saying is, when you go to Brandywine Falls, you’re hearing people speak different languages. Which is not something I would have heard five or 10 years ago.”
“The top things that people spend money on is for lodging. The next highest category is for food and beverages. So they’re spending money in local restaurants. And they’re also spending money at gas stations. Sometimes for admissions and fees. And they’re spending money at local retail outlets and buying souvenirs and other items like that.”
The entire National Parks Service is celebrating its centennial this year. It saw a record 307 million visitors last year.
Nationally, Barnes says the parks service finds that every dollar invested brings a return of $10 to the local economy. The budget for the Cuyahoga Valley National Park last year was close to $11 million.