Study: Dunes visitors help NW Ind. communities

March 1, 2012

Associated Press

(Flickr/Leo Zhadanovsky)
A beach at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

A National Park Service report says visitors to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore along Lake Michigan spent more than $63 million in nearby communities during 2010, helping support more than 650 jobs.

Park Superintendent Constantine Dillon tells the Post-Tribune of Merrillville that surveys done by the park indicate 60 percent of park visitors come from outside Indiana. The park had some 2.1 million visitors in 2010.

The report shows that 52 percent of the spending and jobs are related to lodging, food and beverage service, 29 percent is related to other retail businesses, 10 percent to entertainment and amusements, 7 percent to gas and local transportation and 2 percent to groceries.

The visitor spending analysis was conducted by Michigan State University professor Daniel Stynes for the National Park Service.