One week ago, the Grand Canyon officially welcomed its 6 millionth visitor this year, a historical record and an astounding 9 percent increase from 2015.
Not only is the Grand Canyon one of Arizona’s most beautiful destinations, giving residents and visitors alike miles-long views of the natural landscapes our state has to offer, the national park contributes a lot to our economy, too.
So, in celebration of the new record, we wanted to share three important ways the Grand Canyon is helping to boost an Arizona on the rise:
- Putting Arizona On The Map: First and foremost, the Grand Canyon brings new people to Arizona—introducing them to the best state in the U.S. and exposing them to the wonderful lifestyle we all enjoy. The national park attracting nearly 500,000 more people than only one year earlier is a major achievement that will help attract new companies, new investments, and new jobs for people across the state.
- Boosting Local Economies: Visitor spending in the Grand Canyon’s “local gateway communities” increased by more than $75 million in a single year—reaching $584.9 million in 2015—for an $813 million cumulative benefit. For instance, the Grand Canyon Association experienced a more than 26 percent increase in retail sales in 2015 compared to 2014. (A percentage of the revenue is returned to the national park in the form of direct aid.) Lodging at the Grand Canyon also maintained a 99 percent on-season occupancy rate between March 2016 and October 2016.
- Keeping And Creating Jobs: Economic activity generated by the Grand Canyon helps to fuel a pretty sizeable workforce. The national park contributed to approximately 8,900 jobs in its gateway regions in 2015—up from 6,000 jobs in 2012—and $301.9 million in total labor income that same year.
Between the Grand Canyon attracting 6 million visitors, Arizona State Parks achieving record visitation, and the Waste Management Phoenix Open setting record attendance earlier this year, 2016 has really seen Arizona on the rise.
People are beginning to realize that our state is the place to be—and that means a lot to our economy.