The Colorado National Monument has been a destination spot for people from around the globe for years. Recently, it was reported that how much of an economic boost the monument brings to the Grand Valley.
Michigan State University conducted the study for the National Parks Service. They were able to pinpoint just how much cash the monument is helping infuse into our area.
Betsey Bair, from the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce said, "For every one-dollar spent here, it generates 3-dollars. We love to see tourism dollars come it this area."
Bair said she is excited about a new study showing that the monument generated 23 million for the local economy in 2011. This is a 2 million dollar increase from 2010.
The study says that money helps support 314 jobs in the local area. Mark Lonergan and his son Keaton are two of these people. They travel three times a year to this spot to go camping. Lonergan said they just have 3 things in mind, "To foster fitness, nature beauty and photography."
Lisa Eckert of the Colorado National Monument said the revenue from these out of town visitors is key to increased revenue.
Eckert said, "Their study shows that the economy benefit is in 60% range within the food and lodging segment of tourism."
She said there is still room for more visitors in the future and the talk of the monument becoming a national park won't go away. Eckert said, "There are some that think having a national park in a title that it elevates the stature of a national park unit."
This could potentially create an increase in international visitors who search national park hot spots online.
The chamber hasn't taken a position either way. Bair said, "The Grand Junction City of Commerce has remained neutral on the issue. We are not opposed. We just want, like I said to move slowly and have all of our questions answered."
Visits to the park jumped once again last year, up 20-thousand over the numbers from 2011.