Visitors to Northwest parks spend $547 million - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Visitors to Northwest parks spend $547 million

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SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Visitors to national parks in Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Idaho spent $547 million and supported more than 9,000 jobs in 2010.

That's according to a report released Tuesday by the National Park Service. The biggest impact was in Washington, which saw 7.3 million visitors spend $264.3 million in national parks or in communities near those parks.

About 52 percent of that spending was for lodging, food and beverages, with 29 percent spent on retail purchases, 10 percent on entertainment and amusements, 7 percent on gas and local transportation and 2 percent on groceries.

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