SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A new report has showcased the massive economic impact of visitors to Zion National Park on southern Utah’s economy in 2019, along with major projects that could strengthen that impact over the next 10 years.
The report, released Tuesday by the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah, said planned improvements to the park’s eastern entrance could create 545 jobs and bring in nearly $ 37 million annually until ‘in 2030 in southwest Utah.
The report states that visits to Zion, the most powerful of Utah’s “Mighty Five” national parks, increased 47.5% from 2014 to 2019, attracting an additional 1.7 million visitors.
“If we national to park is a major driver of the travel and tourism economy in Utah, ”said Jennifer Leaver, senior tourism analyst at the Gardner Institute and lead author of the report. “One hundred years after its designation in 1919, If we ranked fourth out of 62 most visited U.S. nationals to parks. “
– Gardner Institute (@KemGardnerInst) March 23, 2021
The study predicted park attendance over the next 10 years, taking into account trends in attendance, the effects of overcrowding in the park, and the possible impact of improvements to the eastern part of the park.
Planned upgrades at Zion include a new visitor center for the east, electric shuttles, and new hiking trails and accommodations.
One of these four planned accommodation projects, the report said, included a 182-room Grand Mountain Lodge in Kane County. The last of the four hotels would open in 2025.
Four residential construction projects are also being considered for an area near the eastern entrance to Sion.
In total, the new construction could bring 550 jobs, nearly $ 21 million in additional revenue, $ 37 million in new GDP, and $ 5.3 million in state and local taxes to Kane and Washington counties. .
The report says Zion generated a record $ 253.6 million in spending from visitors to Kane and Washington counties. Those visitors spent a lot of money – an average of $ 1,133 per party in 2019, according to the release.