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Jul 23, 2014 9:03 AM by Nikela Pradier - npradier@kristv.com

Padre Island National Seashore Visitors Bring Boost to Economy

CORPUS CHRISTI - Tourism at the Padre Island National Seashore is translating to big bucks for our local economy.

More than 500,000 visitors to the national park last year spent nearly $21 million dollars in the Coastal Bend, according to a recent report from the Natioal Park Service. Most of that money was spent at restaurants and bars.

"Every dollar that the taxpayer spends, it turns into generating $10 locally at any national park gateway community," Ranger Patrick Gamman, spokesman for Padre Island National Seashore, explains.

That spending supported 279 local jobs.

"Whether they be from far away or local communities, fisher folks or families just coming to swim, everybody's welcome here. And we want to let folks know that we do help support the local economy and that's something that a lot of folks don't realize about national parks."

Traffic at national parks was down in 2013 because of the 16-day shutdown in October. Still, visitor spending only dipped slightly.

Gamman says the Seashore is expecting more visitors this year.

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