In 2008, Pennsylvania’s state parks hosted 33.6 million visitors who spent $738 million on their trips, which includes a $191.4 million impact from out-of-state visitors. The direct effects of this were $174.5 million in wage/salary income and 8,439 jobs and these jobs generated $354.6 million in secondary sales. This economic impact analysis of Pennsylvania’s state parks includes an overall economic analysis, a one-page fact sheet for each park and results of similar studies from other states.
Pennsylvania State Parks (PSP) hosted 33.6 million visitors who spent $738 million on their trips ($563.2 million for resident visitors; $167.2 million for non-resident or out-of- state visitors, and $7.9 million in extra spending associated with marinas, whitewater, and ski areas).
Direct contribution of visitor spending to the state economy was $463.7 million in sales, 8,439 jobs, $174.5 million in labor income, and $257.9 million in value added effects.
Including secondary effects, the total contribution of visitor spending to the state economy was $818.3 million in sales, 10,551 jobs, 291.4 million in labor income, and $464.7 million in value added effects. The statewide sales impact of out-of-state visitors was $191.4 million. Out-of-state visitor spending contributed to 2,424 jobs, $67.8 million in labor income, and $108.6 million in value added effects.
Comparing the income return (value added) from out-of-state visitor expenditures with reported General Fund expenditures of $62,814,000 revealed a favorable return on investment for the Commonwealth. For every dollar invested in PSP in 2008, $7.62 of income (value added) is returned to Pennsylvania. When projecting economic returns based on the increased park visitation of 2009, that return is estimated at $9.63 for every $1 invested.
Restaurants/bars and gas/oil represented the largest percentage of visitor spending, followed by groceries and take out food/drinks. The smallest percentage of visitor spending was associated with marinas and camping fees.
Visitor expenditures by PSP Region depend on visitation levels and spending opportunities provided near parks within each region. Combined, Regions 2 and 4 accounted for 72% of the total visitor spending. Specifically, visitor expenditures were approximately $290 million for Region 2, $247 million for Region 4, $140 million for Region 3, and $61 million for Region 1.
Visits to the various PSP regions generated the following impacts...
Region 1 - $53.7 million in sales, 865 jobs created, and $28.6 million value added
Region 2 - $278.3 million in sales, 4,198 jobs created, and $153.8 million value added
Region 3 – $132.6 million in sales, 2,017 jobs created, and $72.8 million value added
Region 4 – $252.2 million in sales, 3,396 jobs created, and $144.4 million value added
Economic significance and impacts were also estimated for individual parks...
For example, Pymatuning State Park hos ted 3,004,508 visitors, spending $77 million. The direct contribution to the local economy was 1,004 jobs and 1,177 jobs including secondary effects. Omitting spending by visitors from the local area, the impact of visitors from outside the local region was 633 direct jobs and 747 jobs including secondary effects.
Individual parks associated with the highest estimated visitor spending were Pymatuning, Presque Isle, Prince Gallitzin, and Ohiopyle State Parks at $77.2, $67.6, $36.8, and $28.0 million, respectively.