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National parks visitors spent $81M in New Mexico

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A new federal report says tourism at national parks in New Mexico generated about $81 million in visitor spending that benefited the state’s economy.

The National Park Service’s regional office in Denver said there were about 1.5 million visitors in 2012 to the 13 national parks in New Mexico, which range from Carlsbad Caverns National Park and Chaco Culture National Historic Park to White Sands National Monument.

The report said spending by visitors supported about 1,100 jobs in the state, including at restaurants, convenience stores and motels.

Economists for the U.S. Geological Survey prepared the report for the Park Service.

Park Service officials said there were 283 million visitors to national parks across the country and they spent nearly $15 million in communities within 60 miles of a park.

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