A report produced by the National Park Service estimates the Homestead National Monument of America in Beatrice generates $2.4 million in economic impact.
Homestead Monument Superintendent Mark Engler says that 69,156 people visited the monument last year.
“Good for us to remember that as we can grow visitation and attendance, not only at Homestead but at other of our fine attractions in our county, the more that economic benefit will be and the greater economic value will be brought to the community,” Engler tells Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KWBE.
The Homestead Monument supports 33 jobs in southeast Nebraska.
All-time high attendance reached about 103,000 in 2011 when the original Homestead Act of 1862 document was on display at the Heritage Center marking the 150th anniversary of the federal legislation.
A peer-reviewed spending analysis was conducted by economists with the U.S. Geological Survey and National Park Service. The 2014 report showed most of the spending by visitors to the Homestead National Monument was for lodging, just over 30%. Spending on food and beverages made up more than 20% of the total spending, while fuel represented another 12% percent. Spending on admissions and fees as well as souvenirs rounds out the spending.
Engler says the analysis estimates every dollar invested in the National Park Service returns $10 in economic activity.
Engler expects more visitors this year with the marketing push being made by the National Park Service and the promotion of the new Nebraska quarter featuring Homestead National Monument.
Homestead National Monument of America is a unit of the National Park Service located four miles west of Beatrice and 45 miles south of Lincoln. Hours of operation are 8:30am to 5pm Monday through Friday, and 9am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free of charge. For additional information, please call 402-223-3514 or visit nps.gov/home.
Doug Kennedy, KWBE, contributed to this story.