Tourism To Chickamauga And Chattanooga National Military Park Creates $54,961,300 In Economic Benefit

Friday, July 18, 2014

A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that the 905,984 visitors to Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park in 2013 spent $54,961,300 in communities near the park.  That spending supported 771 jobs in the local area.

“Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park is proud to welcome visitors from across the country and around the world,” said park superintendent Brad Bennett. “We are delighted to share the story of this place and the experiences it provides and to use the park as a way to introduce our visitors to this part of the country and all that it offers.  National park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy – returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service – and it’s a big factor in our local economy as well.  We appreciate the partnership and support of our neighbors and are glad to be able to give by helping to sustain local communities.”

The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Christopher Huber and Lynne Koontz for the National Park Service. The report shows $14.6 billion of direct spending by 273.6 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 237,000 jobs nationally, with 197,000 jobs found in these gateway communities, and had a cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy of $26.5 billion.

The 2013 economic benefit figures are somewhat lower than the 2012 results.  The 16-day government shutdown in October 2013 accounted for most of the decline in park visitation.  The authors also cited inflation adjustments for differences between visitation and visitor spending, jobs supported and overall effect on the U.S. economy.

According to the 2013 economic analysis, most visitor spending was for lodging (30.3 percent) followed by food and beverage (27.3 percent), gas and oil (12.1 percent), admissions and fees (10.3 percent) and souvenirs and other expenses (10 percent).

The largest job categories supported by visitor spending were restaurants and bars (50,000 jobs) and lodging (38,000 jobs).

The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state.

For more information about Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, please contact the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center at 706/866-9241, the Lookout Mountain Battlefield Visitor Center at 423/821-7786.

Videos Promote Famous Tall Betsy Return

Cleveland is having a celebration this year to honor the return of Tall Betsy to 150 Centenary Ave. The address in the historic district of downtown Cleveland is where the famous goblin made her most famous appearances during the ‘80s and drew crowds of thousands.  Tall Betsy retired in 1998 after drawing a crowd of 25,000. A helicopter film crew captured the event and ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Fire Department Has Halloween Open House

The Chattanooga Fire Department will open all 19 fire stations in Chattanooga from 6-8 p.m. on Monday, Halloween, to give trick-or-treaters an up-close look inside a fire station. While there, children can look at the fire engines, talk with the firefighters, and get candy from the fire department, while supplies last.  Here are Halloween safety tips from the Chattanooga ... (click for more)

School Board Chooses Charlotte Firm For Superintendent Search Firm; Lennon, Testerman Want To Keep Kelly

The County School Board on Thursday night voted 5-4 to choose a Charlotte, N.C., search firm to pick a new county school superintendent. Coleman Lew and Associates was selected over McPherson & Jacobson of Omaha. That vote came after board members Kathy Lennon and David Testerman started the session by saying they are very pleased with Interim Supt. Kirk Kelly and would ... (click for more)

Judge Finds Young Guilty Of Lesser Charge In Fatal Wreck On Highway 58

Judge Tom Greenholtz on Wednesday found William Henry Young guilty of a lesser charge in a fatal traffic accident on Highway 58. The judge, who heard the case without a jury, ruled the 56-year-old former TVA employee guilty of criminally negligent homicide. He had been charged with vehicular homicide. Sentencing will be in December. Judge Greenholtz dismissed charges ... (click for more)

Accountability Doesn't Have To Be A Bad Word

Am I making a difference? Isn’t that the basic question we all ask ourselves, and seek to demonstrate to others?  Ronald Reagan said:  “Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem.”   We would argue teachers do not have that problem either.    Educators make a huge difference ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Guess Who Backed Kelly?

Two weeks before the August election where three members of the Hamilton County School Board were angrily replaced, the organizer of what was called “a great way for the (challengers) to raise great money to help them run smart campaigns” made a bold statement. “I'm sure the current board is well-intentioned, but the results are not there," said Paul Brock. "Leadership matters ... (click for more)