RIDGEFIELD/WILTON, Conn. -- A new National Park Service report shows that a record 34,083 people visited Weir Farm National Historic Site in Ridgefield and Wilton in 2014.
Those visitors spent $1.9 million in communities near the park, which supported 23 jobs in the area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $2.6 million.
“Weir Farm National Historic Site welcomes visitors from down the road, across the country and around the world,” said Superintendent Linda Cook.
“People come to the park to experience something unique. Weir Farm is the only National Park dedicated to painting and the closest national park for many Connecticut residents. Places like Weir Farm National Historic Site inspire us, give us the chance to get outside and play, and support our local economy," Cook said. "National Park tourism and recreation are significant drivers in the national economy, too, returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service. We appreciate the support of our partners, friends, and neighbors and are glad to be able to give back to local communities.”
The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Christopher Huber and National Park Service economist Lynne Koontz.
The report shows $15.7 billion of direct spending by 292.8 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 277,000 jobs nationally; 235,600 of those jobs are found in these gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $29.7 billion.
According to the 2014 report, most park visitor spending was for lodging (30.6 percent) followed by food and beverages (20.3 percent), gas and oil (11.9 percent), admissions and fees (10.2 percent) and souvenirs (9.9 percent).
To download the report, visit this website . The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state.
For more information about Weir Farm National Historic Site, visit www.nps.gov/wefa or call 203-834-1896.
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