UPDATED 5/7/2018: Story adds a statement from Acadia Superintendent Kevin Schneider.
Acadia National Park last year pumped $284 million in jobs and business activities into the regional economy, according to an annual report on the economic benefits of national parks.
Acadia National Park supported 4,163 full and part-time jobs in 2017, down slightly from 4,195 jobs in 2016, as businesses last year struggled to find help amid a strong economy and tighter policies on hiring of foreign workers by the Trump administration.
“Acadia National Park’s extraordinary beauty and recreational opportunities attracted a record number of visitors in 2017 making it the seventh most-visited national park in the country,” said Acadia Superintendent Kevin Schneider. “We value our relationship with the neighboring communities and appreciate the services, experiences and amenities they provide to park visitors.”
The total economic output for Acadia in 2017 was $338.8 million, an increase from $333 million in 2016.
In 2017, the year after celebrating its centennial, Acadia contributed $284.5 million in visitor spending, up 4 percent from 2016 and up 41 percent from $201 million in 2012, according to the report.
Unveiled by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, the report comes as Acadia is proposing a vehicle reservation system for Cadillac Mountain summit, Ocean Drive and Jordan Pond that would relieve traffic congestion during peak season caused by a growing number of visitors and impose a small vehicle reservation fee partly to help raise money for increased service for the fare-free Island Explorer shuttle. The report on the economic effects of national parks also follows a decision by the National Park Service to impose modest entrance fee increases starting June 1 at Acadia and 16 other of the most popular national parks, after an initial proposal to more than double fees caused an uproar.