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Boots, Backpacks, Bunks - Utah Spends (Time) Outside

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Diane Maggipinto / KUER

Utah’s national and state parks power the beehive economy.  Department of Workforce Services director Carrie Mayne points to a spike in spending on recreational vehicles, gear and services related to recreation. She says that the five national parks in Utah — Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Zion — along with forty-three state parks in the system are a major draw, and numbers show a bang-up year for hospitality in 2016.

Mayne says the state’s protected public lands create an economic engine for Utah. In-state jobs related to travel and tourism were up five percent last year over the year before, and the industry saw a big boost, ranking 8th for travel and tourism. Out-of-state visitors spent a record amount, and Utahns alone spent a billion dollars on travel, leisure and goods. 

The Fall 2017 report by the Utah Economic Council is a collaboration of the David Eccles School of Business, the state Office of Management and Budget, and the Kem C. Gardner Public Policy Institute at the University of Utah.  

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