Re: the May 15 article "Report: Saguaro Park visitors boost area economy by $88M."
National Park Service report of Saguaro National Park's impact on the Tucson area's economy is accurate only if visitor data has been categorized as to the purpose of the visit. The park has an impact on the area when people's visit is only for seeing Saguaro National Park. Recently, some friends of mine came to Tucson to hike in Saguaro National Park. ALL of their spending was related to the park.
A visitor in Tucson to attend a convention that decides to visit the park is different, as the visitor would be in Tucson regardless of the existence of the park. PART of their spending can be counted. My wife and I visit the park several times a year. Our admission at the entrance booth is logged as a visit but since we live here, the park's impact on the area economy is neutral. If the park did not exist, we would simply have gone somewhere else. NONE of our spending is a result of the park's existence.
Disclaimer: As submitted to the Arizona Daily Star.