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Tourism to Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site creates $256,000 in economic benefits 

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A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 4,215 visitors to Sand Creek Massacre NHS in 2020 spent $253,000 in communities near the park. That spending supported 4 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $256,000. 

“We have been safely increasing access to Sand Creek Massacre NHS, one park in the national system of parks that support individual and collective physical and mental wellness,” said Superintendent Stuart West. “We welcome people back to the park and are excited to share the story of this place and the experiences it provides. We also feature the park as a way to introduce our visitors to this part of the country and all that it offers.” 

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Entrance sign at the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site. © / Jeanne Sorensen

The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by economists with the National Park Service and the U.S. Geological Survey. The report shows $14.5 billion of direct spending by more than 237 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 234,000 jobs nationally; 194,400 of those jobs are found in these gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $28.6 billion.  

Looking at the economics of visitor spending nationally, the lodging sector had the highest direct effects, with $5 billion in economic output. The restaurants sector was had the second greatest effects, with $3 billion in economic output. Visitor spending on lodging supported more than 43,100 jobs and more than 45,900 jobs in restaurants. Visitor spending in the recreation industries supported more than 18,100 jobs and spending in retail supported more than 14,300 jobs.

The report authors also produced an interactive tool that enables users to explore visitor spending, jobs, labor income, value added, and output effects by sector for national, state, and local economies. Users can also view year-by-year trend data. The interactive tool and report are available on the  NPS Social Science Program page on