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Study shows Grand Canyon National Park brought 9,000 jobs, $710M to northern Arizona

Grand Canyon National Park had four and a half million visitors last year, which helped boost the northern Arizona economy.

A National Park Service report shows that visitors spent more than $710 million last year in the Canyon’s gateway communities.

That helped support more than 9,000 jobs.

Although the coronavirus affected visitation, the numbers are nearly back to pre-pandemic levels.

Park spokeswoman Joelle Baird said that while tourist dollars are important, the Canyon’s benefits go beyond economics.

“It’s a place of spiritual significance to our 11 associated tribes here in Grand Canyon. I also say that it provides a sense of peace and tranquility for northern Arizona residents who might frequently visit the park,” Baird said.

The report says that parks helped generate billions in similar communities nationwide and supported more than 300,000 jobs.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The story has been updated to correct the amount visitors spent last year in the Canyon’s gateway communities.

Ron Dungan has lived in Arizona for more than 35 years. He has worked as a reporter, construction worker, copy editor, designer and freelance writer. He's a graduate of the University of Iowa, where he was a member of the undergraduate Writers’ Workshop, and has a master’s in history from Arizona State University.Dungan was an outdoors reporter and member of the storyteller team at the Arizona Republic, where he won several awards, and was a contributor on a border project that won the 2018 Pulitzer for explanatory reporting.When not working, Dungan enjoys books, gardening, hanging out with his German shorthaired pointer, backpacking and fly-fishing. He's a fan of the Arizona Cardinals and Iowa Hawkeyes.