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PHOENIX -- A national park just south of the Phoenix metro area is enjoying a tourism boom, a report said.

"The trend is supported by the number of visitors coming and the different economic inputs that go into it," said Karl Cordova with the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument.

A report from the National Park Service said more than 600,000 visitors spent nearly a total of $4 million in the immediate area of the park in 2012. This supported 54 jobs, something Cordova said is vital to the Casa Grande's economy.

"For every dollar that's appropriated from tax money, it generates almost $2.50 in the local economy when we need jobs," he said. "It's obvious that tourism is an important aspect."

Most visitor spending was at restaurants, grocery and convenience stores and hotels.

Martha Maurer, News Editor

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