Big bucks

MUNISING – A new National Park Service report showed Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore created nearly $25 million in economic benefit to the local economy in 2011.

The report is available online and shows the impact of parks across the country in creating a $30 billion impact, supporting 252,000 jobs.

“Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is a wonderful place to learn about America’s story,” Pictured Rocks superintendent Jim Northup said. “We attract visitors from across the U.S. and around the world who come here to experience the park and then spend time and money enjoying the services provided by our neighboring communities and getting to know this amazing part of the country.”

The figures for Pictured Rocks, which stretches more than 40 miles along the Lake Superior shoreline between Munising and Grand Marais, indicated 561,104 visitors were at the park in 2011. Those visitors spent $24.9 million in communities surrounding the park, supporting 363 jobs in the local area.

Park officials said in a news release the information on Pictured Rocks is part of a wider peer-reviewed spending analysis of national park visitors across the country conducted by Michigan State University for the National Park Service.

For 2011, that report shows $13 billion of direct spending by 279 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park.

Park officials said most visitor spending supports jobs in lodging, food and beverage service (63 percent) followed by recreation and entertainment (17 percent), other retail (11 percent), transportation and fuel (7 percent) and wholesale and manufacturing (2 percent).

“The National Park Service is proud to have been entrusted with the care of America’s most treasured places and delighted that the visitors we welcome generate significant contributions to the local, state and national economy,” Northup said.

To download the report, visit and click on Economic Benefits to Local Communities from National Park Visitation, 2011.

John Pepin can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206. His email address is