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2012 Visits To SD National Parks Surpass 4 Million

March 5, 2014, 5:12 AM

2012 Visits To SD National Parks Surpass 4 Million
RAPID CITY, SD -

The National Parks Service says more than 4 million people visited South Dakota's six national parks in 2012.

Visitors spent about $236 million during their trips.

The most popular spot was Mount Rushmore with 1.8 million visitors. The Bandlands and Wind Cave followed Mount Rushmore in the number of visits.

The other national parks in the state are Jewel Cave, the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site and the Missouri National Recreation River.

Federal officials estimated that across the country tourists spent $14.7 billion within 60 miles of a national park.

The Obama administration says the government shutdown last fall resulted in nearly 8 million fewer visitors to national parks, costing the parks and surrounding communities an estimated $414 million in lost visitor spending.

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