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State Parks Produce $4.32 Billion Annually, Says Study

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If state parks close, Leo Carillo Beach would too. | Photo by Clinton Steeds via Flickr
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The 74.9 million people who visit state parks produce over $4 billion in direct spending associated with their trip, a new Sacramento State study has found. The findings are shocking researchers considering the state only invests around $70 million a year into the system.

9,700 visitors, surveyed at 27 state parks between fall 2007 and February 2009, spent an average of $57.63 each. Over a thousand of those surveyed were non-resident of California, spending an average of $184.91 per person, or an estimated $1.66 billion.

Spending included parking, camping fees, maps, tours, local food from grocery stores, gifts, restaurants and gas. One of LAist's favorite trips is Malibu Creek State Park where the drive probably costs $5, parking is $10 and a post hike meal at one of the best taco eateries in the county can easily run $12 a person.