FAYETTEVILLE, WV (WVNS) — Ever since the New River Gorge became a National Park, it produced an enormous impact on the surrounding communities.

There was a fifty percent increase in economic spending in the local economies.

Spending went from fifty million dollars on average to more than eighty million, according to the National Park Service.

Rob Carpinelli is the manager of Ace Adventure Gear in Fayetteville. He said the store saw steady increases in sales over the past two years.

“Most people come to West Virginia for outdoor recreation, especially our area,” said Carpinelli. “Becoming a National Park now as well, is our main focus now as a National Park is its all surrounded around the river and that type of stuff. So for us, its been great economic boost. In 2021, we went up 20% over 2020. This year, we’re up again which is really good numbers for us.”

The impact reached further beyond the boundaries of the park than one might expect.

Overall, Southern West Virginia saw an increase in spending from sixty-two million to one hundred million per year, according to the National Park Service.