It is among the 20 smallest U.S. National Monuments, covering approximately 211 acres, but Homestead National Monument of America has a big economic impact.
A new report from the U.S. Park Service shows the site hosted 78,739 visitors in 2015. Those visitors spent $2.5 million in the community, defined as a 60 mile radius from the site.
Mark Engler, park superintendent at Homestead, says more marketing and lower gas prices helped drive up attendance.
“In 2015, Homestead was featured on the new Nebraska quarter,” Engler tells Nebraska Radio Network. “Being on the new Nebraska quarter just attracted a lot of interest and enthusiasm, and people who hadn’t heard of the monument were seeking us out.”
Engler says Homestead and other sites also benefit from the National Park Service centennial celebration.
“It’s all part of the ‘Find Your Park’ movement that has been promoted across the United States,” Engler says. “I think that has a big impact.”
Another popular feature, according to Engler, is that it is a no-fee site.
“There are no park entrance fees here and park permits are not required to come to visit the monument and participate in the programs and activities,” he says. “So, it’s a great place to come and visit, and spend some time and learn about American history.”
Economists with the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Park Service conducted the analysis, which also shows that spending supported 40 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $2.7 million.