National Park Service offers 21 million reasons why history is good for Greater Morristown

The US Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps performs behind Gen. Washington's former headquarters in Morristown. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
The US Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps performs behind Gen. Washington's former headquarters in Morristown. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

History is good for business, according to the latest numbers from the Morristown National Historical Park.

The park attracted 252,500 visitors to its four venues in 2016, and those visitors spent almost $15 million in surrounding communities.

That spending supported almost 200 local jobs, for a cumulative benefit of nearly $21 million to the regional economy, the National Park Service says.

Statewide, Revolutionary War sites attracted some 900,000 visitors last year, with an economic impact of almost $167 million and supporting more than 1,700 jobs, asserts the NPS report. 

Here is Thursday’s full statement: 

From the Morristown National Historical Park:

Tourism to Morristown National Historical Park Creates $20.7 Million in Economic Benefits

Report shows visitor spending supports 193 jobs in local economy

A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 252,500 visitors to Morristown National Historical Park in 2016 spent $14.8 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 193 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $20.7 million.

“Morristown National Historical Park welcomes visitors from across the country and around the world,” said Superintendent Tom Ross.

“We are delighted to share the story of this place and the experiences it provides. We also feature the park as a way to introduce our visitors to this part of the country and all that it offers.

“National park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy, returning more than $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service, and it’s a big factor in our local economy as well. We appreciate the partnership and support of our neighbors and are glad to be able to give back by helping to sustain local communities.”

Regionally, Revolutionary War heritage sites and battlefields located within the Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area (for which Morristown NHP is a primary gateway site) welcomed approximately 900,000 visitors to New Jersey, generating an economic impact of $166.6 million and supporting 1,729 jobs.

This independent study was conducted by Tripp Umbach for the Crossroads of the American Revolution NHA reflecting the economic activity of a focused slice of the state’s significant heritage and cultural sites and resources.

The data used to calculate the impacts was based on a three‐year average – 2013, 2014, and 2015.

The National Park Service peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas of the U.S. Geological Survey and Lynne Koontz of the National Park Service. 

The report shows $18.4 billion of direct spending by 331 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 318,000 jobs nationally; 271,544 of those jobs are found in these gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $34.9 billion.

According to the 2016 report, most park visitor spending was for lodging (31.2 percent) followed by food and beverages (27.2 percent), gas and oil (11.7 percent), admissions and fees (10.2 percent), souvenirs and other expenses (9.7 percent), local transportation (7.4 percent), and camping fees (2.5%).

Report authors this year produced an interactive tool. Users can explore current year visitor spending, jobs, labor income, value added, and output effects by sector for national, state, and local economies.

Users can also view year-by-year trend data. The interactive tool and report are available at the NPS Social Science Program webpage:

The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state.

Visit the New Jersey section of the NPS website to learn how the National Park Service works with New Jersey communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation.

Morristown National Historical Park preserves, protects, and commemorates the landscapes, structures, features, and museum collections of the Continental Army winter encampments, the headquarters of General George Washington, and related Revolutionary War sites at Morristown, New Jersey for the benefit and inspiration of the public. 

Morristown NHP also represents a continuum of our nation’s efforts to protect our common heritage: as the very first “national historical park”, the park was also established to commemorate, preserve, and memorialize American history and heritage. 

Morristown NHP is the primary NPS site in the Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area. Established by the U.S. Congress in 2006, the Crossroads promotes a greater understanding of Revolutionary-era historical sites and landscapes in New Jersey.

For more information about Morristown NHP, please call 973-539-2016 ext. 210 or visit our website at

You can also check out our Museum Blog at https://morristownnhpmuseum.

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