People have traveled to view national parks since 1872, when Yellowstone was declared the first one. In 2017, park vacationers added over $35 billion to the nation’s economy.

The Casa Grande Ruins National Monument played its part in that economic boost to the tune of just over $4 million.

According to the annual National Park Service report, 75,000 park visitors spent an estimated $4.3 million in local gateway regions while visiting Casa Grande Ruins National Monument. “These expenditures supported a total of 65 jobs, $2.3 million in labor income, $3.8 million in value added, and $6.4 million in economic output in local gateway economies surrounding Casa Grande Ruins National Monument,” stated the report.

Visitor spending varied across the National Park System, from big parks such as Yellowstone National Park which attracted 4.1 million people and supported more than 7,350 jobs, to smaller parks like Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site that attracted more than 45,000 visitors and supported 43 jobs.

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

In the Coolidge Chamber of Commerce June 2018 newsletter, Casa Grande Ruins National Monument Acting Superintendent Dave Carney shared that the monument “welcomes visitors from all around the world. We enjoy sharing the story of this place and the experiences it provides. NPS staff, volunteers and community and tribal partners care for the Great House and other archaeological sites, historic buildings, plant and animal life, and interpret the monument’s resources … both here at the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, as well as in surrounding communities. Many other people, in nearby communities, provide our visitors with food and drink, lodging, gasoline and other services that complete the national park experience, contributing to local jobs and economies.”

Total visitor spending at the monument has increased steadily since 2012, when it was at $3.7 million. In 2017, area hotels saw $1.4 million in business related to the park, and restaurants saw $980,000 in business.

According to the report, “2017 National Park Visitor Spending Effects,” more than 330 million visitors nationally spent $18.2 billion in 2017 in the communities near national parks. Of the 306,000 jobs supported by that spending, more than 255,000 were in communities that lie within 60 miles of a park.

Arizona’s Parks by the Numbers

  • 22 National Parks
  • 13,321,857 visitors to national parks
  • $1,114,700,000 economic benefit from national park tourism
  • $144,740,870 of rehabilitation projects stimulated by tax incentives (since 1995)
  • $64,635,613 of land and water conservation fund appropriated for projects (since 1965)
  • $31,115,406 in historic preservation grants (since 1969)
  • 204,886 hours donated by volunteers
  • 1 National Heritage area
  • 2 National Trails managed by NPS
  • 1,463 National Register of Historic Places listings
  • 46 National Historic Landmarks
  • 10 National Natural Landmarks
  • 1 World Heritage site
  • 10,836,520 objects in national park museum collections
  • 12,607 archeological sites in national parks
  • 22 threatened and endangered species in national parks