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National Park Service: State parks draw 1.2M visitors who spend $53M

GLEN JEAN, W.Va. -- A new report says National Park Service attractions in West Virginia draw more than 1 million visitors who add millions of dollars to local economies. An analysis conducted by Michigan State University shows that park visitors in West Virginia spent a total $53 million in surrounding communities in 2011. Nationwide, visitors spent a total $13 billion. The report says visitor spending in 2011 supported more than 700 jobs in areas surrounding the New River Gorge National River, Bluestone National Scenic River, and Gauley River National Recreation Area. New River Gorge deputy superintendent Debbie Darden says in a news release that the parks attract visitors from around the world.
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