Before we paint with numbers the economic spinoff generated by Minnesota's National Parks, how 'bout a trivia question?
Can you name Minnesota's four National Parks or Monuments or Recreation Areas?
If you rattled off Grant Portage National Monument up on Lake Superior's North Shore, Miississippi National River and Recreation Area in St. Paul and Bloomington, Pipestone National Monument and Voyageurs National Park near International Falls, well done.
The report, which can be found here, said in 2012 just more than 600,000 visitors stopped at the four Minnesota sites, supporting 500 jobs and spending more than $34 million. According to the report, spending supports jobs in restaurants, grocery stores and convenience shops (39 percent), hotels, motels and bed-and-breakfasts (27 percent) and other amusement and recreation venues (20 percent).
"The national parks of Minnesota attract visitors from across the country and around the world and provide premiere historical, cultural, natural, and recreational experiences,” said National Park Service Midwest Regional Director Michael T. Reynolds in a news release. “This new report shows that national park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy -- returning $10 for every $1 invested -- and funding generated by national parks has a swift and direct positive impact on local economies in Minnesota as well.”