Cape Lookout lights up area economy

Published: Monday, March 31, 2014 at 06:01 PM.

While the report cites 2012 visitation numbers, Kenney said employees are always working to increase visitation to the seashore.

As the peak of the tourism season approaches in Eastern North Carolina, Kenney said he is hopeful that the new “gateway” facility on the Beaufort waterfront will help increase awareness of the national seashore. The facility, which will include a new passenger ferry service to the seashore as well as exhibits and park information, is expected to open in April.

“One of the critical things about the gateway is it will help heighten people’s awareness of the National Park Service being in this community,” Kenney said.

And Cape Lookout is not alone.

The National Park Service presence in North Carolina also includes Cape Hatteras National Seashore, the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, Moores Creek National Battlefield, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, Wright Brothers National Memorial, Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site and portions of Blue Ridge Parkway and Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The report shows that visitors to national parks in North Carolina spent $1.11 billion and supported 16,703 jobs in North Carolina in 2012.

U.S. Geological Survey economists conducted the visitor spending analysis for the park service.

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