Indiana Dunes hits near-record attendance
The Indiana Dunes National Park nearly set another record for visitors in 2022. Our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana report more than 2.8 million visited the park last year, down from the record 3.17 million attendees in 2021.
Officials say the lakeshore’s designation as Indiana’s first national park four years ago has led to a major increase in traffic.
“Indiana Dunes National Park continues to draw millions of people from around the country,” Supervisory Park Ranger Bruce Rowe told the publication. “We saw a remarkable increase in visitation with our name change in February of 2019. Attendance went from generally less than 2 million to around 3 million visitors each of the last two full years.”
Rowe said officials expect future attendance to continue hovering around the 3 million mark.
According to The Times, visitors to the Dunes spent an estimated $156 million in the region in 2021, the most recent year for which data is available.
In January 2022, the park began charging an entrance fee to visit the park, ranging from $15 to $45, depending on how long a visitor would stay. Rowe said it’s too soon to say if the fees had an effect on visitation.
“While it is possible that it could have negatively affected our attendance this year, we won’t know until we get two to three more years of data,” he said.
You can read the full story from The Times of Northwest Indiana’s Joseph S. Pete by clicking here.