JUST IN TIME for peak “climbing season,” the freshly painted Cape Lookout Lighthouse has never looked better. Cape Lookout National Seashore Superintendent Pat Kenney said the project also included the installation of new windows and sashes.
“The lighthouse looks amazing, and visitors are going to really enjoy seeing it,” he said.
The lighthouse opened for climbing on May 12 … and will be available for climbing this year Tuesday-Saturday each week through Sept. 19. (Sunday openings are planned on May 24, July 5 and Sept. 6.) Climbing hours are 9:45am-4:15pm. No advance ticket sales. Purchase in-person at the site on day of climb.
The cost to climb is $8 for ages 12-62; $4 for seniors 62 and over/children under 12/passholders (National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Access Pass). Children must be at least 44 inches tall; all children 12 and under must be accompanied by a person at least age 16. Go to www.nps.gov/calo or contact Katherine Cushinberry at 252-728-2250, ext. 3019, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cape Lookout National Seashore has a direct annual economic impact of nearly $21 million to Carteret County. According to statistics recently released by the National Park Service (NPS), 430,928 people visited Cape Lookout National Seashore in 2014 and spent more than $20.9 million in communities near the park. The NPS said that spending supported 332 local jobs.
The 2014 data represents a solid improvement over 2013, noted Supt. Kenney.
The NPS reported 416,569 people visited Cape Lookout National Seashore in 2013, spending $17.6 million, which supported 246 local jobs.
Supt. Kenney said: “National park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy – returning $10 for every tax dollar invested in the National Park Service, and it’s a big factor in our local economy as well. We appreciate the partnership and support of the local communities, and we are glad they benefit from the park.”
Nationwide, the NPS 2014 report shows $15.7 billion of direct spending by 292.8 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 235,600 jobs in gateway communities.
These nationwide numbers compare favorably to 2013, when spending was $14.6 billion by 273.6 million visitors – supporting 197,000 jobs.
To download the full report, go to www.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/economics.cfm.
Mike Wagoner, President
Carteret County Chamber of Commerce