National Parks of Southern West Virginia Bring in Almost $70 Million to Local Economy in 2018

According to a new National Park Service report, the New River Gorge National River, the Bluestone National Scenic River, and the Gauley River National Recreation Area brought in under $70 million dollars in economic benefits in 2018.

“ We had over 1.3 million people come to the three national parks here in Southern West Virginia and those folks don’t just come to the park,” New River Gorge National River spokesperson Julena Campbell said. “They certainly spend time in the local communities, at restaurants, at lodging, shopping and all sorts of other activities, so really when they come to the park they’re certainly contributing to the economic vitality of the areas.”

According to the National Park Service, what has led to the increase is the amount of online push to visit National parks and the amount of time people are spending in places

“Because what they’ve learned is that people are spending longer in the parks and longer in the communities and actually spending a little bit more money than we thought that they had in the past so that number has been raising a little bit over the last couple of years,” Campbell said.

For a full breakdown on what industries are bringing in the money at each park visit:

Watch the full story above.

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Anna Saunders is a weekend reporter for WOAY. With a diploma from Princeton Senior High School and a mother from Fayette County, she is no stranger to the area. She received a degree in Media Arts and Design from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and wanted to return home to start her career as a reporter.