Study: Oregon’s state parks put $1B into economy

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A study by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department finds visitors to the state’s parks contributed more than $1 billion to the economy and supported 16,000 jobs in 2016.

The report released this week measures how communities near state parks benefit from that presence.

Employees earned a combined salary of $550 million and helped welcome more than 54 million visitors.

The analysis found that each dollar invested in the parks system generates $30.50 in related economic activity.

The full report analyzed survey responses from more than 18,000 visitors from 84 park properties.

The agency conducted the surveys from 2011 to 2016.

Coastal parks had the greatest number of visits and slightly higher levels of average spending.

They accounted for about half of the total statewide spending.