Impacts of Visitor Spending on Local Economy:
Crater Lake National Park, 2001
Spending averages were estimated from the Crater Lake NP Visitor Study. Spending averages were computed on a party trip basis for each segment and then converted to a party night basis by dividing by the average length of stay in the region. The survey covered expenditures that occurred within 100 miles of the park. Spending averages per party per night by segment are shown in Table 6.
Table 5. Crater Lake NP visitor spending by lodging segments in local area ($ per party day)
Local and non-local day visitors spent about $50 per party per day. Campers either staying inside or outside the park spent around $60 dollars per day. Visitors staying at park hotels spent $237 per day or $40 dollars more than visitors staying hotels outside the park. The differences are mainly from the higher expenses on the lodging and food service inside the park. The corresponding nightly room rate inside the park was $137 and $94 for lodges outside the park. Backcountry campers spent around $38 dollars per party day, or about $58 for a 1.5- night stay5.
Total visitor spending is calculated by multiplying the number of party- nights in Table 4 by the spending averages in Table 5. The calculations are carried out segment by segment, summing across the seven segments to obtain the total. Visitors to Crater Lake NP in 2001 spent $30.7 million in the local area (Table 6). Visitors spent $10.8 million on motel/hotel rooms, $6.6 million on restaurant meals, and $4.0 million on souvenirs. Groups staying in area motels contributed about 64 percent ($19.6 million) of the total spending to the region followed by visitors staying at campgrounds outside the park (11%) and day visitors coming from outside the region (10%).
Table 6. Total spending by Crater Lake NP visitors in 2001 ($000’s)
Dean Runyan Associates (2002) estimates that travelers spent $496 million in the three counties of East Douglas ($143 million), Jackson ($247 million) and Klamath ($106 million) in 2000. This spending includes all expenditures associated with trips of 50 miles or more away from home by domestic and foreign travelers6. Tourist spending generated a total of 8,760 jobs and 19.7 million in taxes in the three county area.
The $31 million spent by Crater Lake NP visitors in 2001 represents about 6% of all tourist spending in the region and about 10% of lodging sales. Based on this comparison, park visitors appear to be more likely than other tourists to be staying overnight in commercial lodging in the three county area. As visitors staying in hotels and motels spend considerably more than other segments, encouraging overnight stays helps to increase local economic impacts.