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The Economic Value of Public Lands in Grand County, Utah

Key Message

The economic and revenue importance of the travel, tourism, and recreation has increased in Grand County during the past several years, accounting for 47 percent of private employment.


Headwater Economics. (2015). The Economic Value of Public Lands in Grand County, Utah. Updates October 2011 Report. Bozeman, MT: Headwater Economics. 37 pp.


This update of the 2011 report has two broad goals. First, it analyzes Grand County’s economy in light of the ongoing recovery from the Great Recession. Second, Grand County has a history of working to balance recreational and energy uses on public lands. New proposals—ranging from whether to further increase the recreation and tourism sector, encourage energy development, or emphasize other economic opportunities—should be considered in light of the current economy’s performance and opportunities for sustainable future growth.


  • Travel, tourism, and recreation account for 47 percent of private employment in Grand County, with a total of nearly 1,700 jobs as of 2012, with an estimated 200 more added since then. In addition, those sectors have also driven substantial job gains in several other areas since 2000, including finance and insurance, health care, and professional services.
  • National Parks visitation numbers have continued to climb steadily in recent years, and the Arches and Canyonlands national parks alone support a total of 2,100 jobs. Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service visitation and revenue numbers are also increasing.
  • Travel and tourism revenue for Grand County in 2013 was nearly $10 million, with $2.1 million being generated by the transient room tax, $400,000 by the restaurant tax, and the remaining $7.4 million coming from local tax revenue generated by traveler spending.

Benefit Statements / Outcomes

Leadership Provided By:

  • Leisure Information Network (LIN)
  • Alberta Recreation and Parks Association

On Behalf Of:

  • Canadian Parks and Recreation Association (CPRAA)

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