Muir Woods tops visits in 2011


Tourists who visited local national parks spent more money there in 2011 than in the year prior, accounting for $262 million in spending around the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Muir Woods and Point Reyes National Seashore, according to a new study commissioned by the National Park Service. Muir Woods visits were up nearly 8 percent (to 897,131 visitors) and spending by out-of-town visitors vaulted 14 percent, while visits increased only modestly, between two and three percent, at the massive coastal recreation area (14.6 million) and Point Reyes seashore (2.1 million). The report, released Wednesday by Michigan State University, estimated that non-local spending at the three parks generated 3,438 jobs. Two thirds of parks visitors’ money is spent, in nearly equal proportion, on transportation, lodging and restaurants, with smaller amounts going to retail, recreation and groceries.