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Visitor spending at national park feeds local economy, says report

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SEDRO WOOLLEY — The North Cascades National Park complex attracted 809,000 visitors in 2012 and they spent $33 million in nearby communities and supported 370 jobs, a federal report released Monday says.

The park complex includes the North Cascades National Park and both the Ross Lake and Lake Chelan National Recreation Areas.

Nationwide, the spending report showed $14.7 billion spent by 283 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park.

According to the report, most visitor spending supports jobs in restaurants, grocery and convenience stores (39 percent), hotels, motels and bed-and-breakfast inns (27 percent) and other amusement and recreation (20 percent).

To see the report, visit


Reach Mike Irwin at 509-665-1179 or . Read his blog Everyday Business or follow him on Twitter at @MikeIrwinWW.