When nearly 3 million people come to visit an iconic national park in the northwest, there is going to be some significant trickle-down of dollars.

And those dollars trickled down nicely into Montana. That's what the latest report from the National Park Service tells us about the staggering revenue generated for nearby Montana towns serving as gateways to Glacier National Park.

A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that approximately 2.9 million visitors to Glacier National Park in 2022 spent an estimated $368 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 5,690 jobs in those areas. The overall cumulative benefit to local economies was approximately $548 million. What make those figures even more eye-popping is the fact that a huge portion of Glacier National Park's tourism falls during less than half of the year.

A spokesperson for the National Park Service, Superintendent Dave Roemer, was quoted as saying, “Glacier National Park inspires people from all over the world to visit and experience the wonder of these stunning landscapes. Tourism to Glacier is a beneficial and sustainable component, supporting more than 5,000 jobs and $548 million in revenue to communities within 60 miles of the park.”

It's hard to imagine that the 2023 figures will show a decline when those reports come out. For Montana towns like West Glacier, Hungry Horse, Columbia Falls, Whitefish, Eureka, Browning and many others, it means a heck of a lot!

The visitor spending analysis was conducted by economists at the National Park Service.It also provides what could be a very useful tracking tool for area businesses, perhaps giving them an even better opportunity to attract some of that phenomenal revenue stream.

The interactive tool enables users to explore visitor spending habits, jobs, labor income, and much more on national, state and local economies. Users can also view year-by-year trending numbers. If you operate a business that could potentially benefit more from Glacier tourism, or know someone who could, it's a worth a visit to the NPS Visitor Spending Effects webpage here. It's a long read but could be useful.

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