Created: 07/24/2014 4:48 PM
By: Devin Neeley, KOB Eyewitness News 4
It’s people from all across the country and around the world visiting New Mexico for the National Parks Sites.
“I have been to Mesa Verde, Chaco Canyon, I have been to Canyon De Chelly, I have been to Hovenweep, I have been to quite a few,” Ritchie Dale said.
Dale loves visiting national park sites.
“I think that's great if I am helping the economy, but I don't think about it. I'm kinda selfish, I just enjoy what I am doing,” said Dale.
Dale one of about 44,000 visitors to Aztec Ruins each year.
“It’s awesome and it’s really fun and it’s great for families,” said Pilar Brancard of Santa Fe.
It’s happy visitors like that that are contributing more than $3.8 million a year to the local economy and between Aztec Ruins and Chaco Canyon, 52 jobs are supported.
“We want a lot of people to come here and learn about the ancestral pueblo people and appreciate and experience what was going on in the four corners 900 years ago,” said Lauren Blacik, Chief of Visitor Services at Aztec Ruins.
According to the park service, the return is 10 to one on money invested in national park visits across the country, and people in New Mexico are proud of the sites in our state.
“There is a lot of love for this place, for our visitors coming from all over the world but also from local community, everybody knows the value of Aztec ruins and other sites we have in this region,” said Blacik.
The national park service estimates New Mexico's national parks and monuments brought more than $83 million to our state last year.