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Utah Travel Headlines Blog

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Visit National Parks For Free This Summer

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced today that entrance fees will be waived on 3 summer weekends to encourage people to visit US National Parks, Monuments and Recreation Areas.

KSL carried this news release about the announcement. Below are excerpts.
"National Parks also serve as powerful economic engines for local communities and we hope that promoting visitation will give a small shot in the arm to businesses in the area," he (Salazar) said. The 147 National Park Service sites across the country that charge fees for entry will waive these entrance fees during the weekends of June 20-21, July 18-19, and August 15-16, 2009, Salazar said. Meanwhile, many park partners including tour operators, hotels, restaurants, gift shops, and other vendors will offer additional discounts and special promotions on those dates. More information on the fees and discounts can be found at nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparks.htm.

Most Americans live less than a day's drive from a park, the Secretary noted. Nationwide, parks last year attracted more than 275 million recreation visits. Spending by non-local visitor provided $10.6 billion for local economies, supporting more than 213,000 jobs, not counting National Park Service jobs.

"Tourism income helps America's economic recovery," Salazar said. "National park sites in the Great Lakes states, for example, attract 8 million recreation visits a year that bring $211 million into the local economies. Spending by visitors from out of the area supports 4,400 local jobs. So these areas need to maintain and expand this vital tourism."

Some businesses associated with National Parks are offering discounts or special promotions. Some are listed here. Below is one example.

Lake Powell - From Aramark Parks and Destinations -- Rainbow Bridge Tours: Buy One All Day and Get One 50% off (PROMOTIONAL CODE/REQUEST: NPSDAYS)

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