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May 20

How Bennett Spring Contributes to Lebanon's Economy

Posted on May 20, 2015 at 1:23 PM by Dustin Hall

Munger Moss   
KSMU - Ozarks Public Radio recently posted a story by Randy Stewart about how, "The continued success of Bennett Spring State Park holds economic benefits for the nearby city of Lebanon"
Open Quote Missouri's State Parks Contribute to Local, State Economies.
By Randy Stewart - KSMU Radio

As KSMU reported last month, Missouri's state parks saw an overall six percent increase in attendance in 2014 compared to the previous year. In fact, Bennett Spring State Park, 12 miles west of Lebanon, saw and increase of 15%, to nearly 786,00 visitors last year.
Now, on the cold, rainy Wednesday last week when I visited the park, you wouldn't have known it... as I walked down toward the Hatchery Outfall No.001, I saw three--count 'em, three--faithful anglers fly-fishing for the park's famous trout.

However, in the Park Store, longtime concessionaire and store manager Jim Rogers assured me that wasn't the case a few days earlier when the weather was nicer. "Yesterday this place was happening!  And Monday we were swamped. The weekend was phenomenal."

...One Missouri city that specifically prospers as a result of Bennett Spring's success is Lebanon, population approximately 15,000, located 12 miles east of the state park.

...(City Administrator Chris Heard) likes to acknowledge the city planners and business leaders of Lebanon who came before, and laid a strong foundation of business and manufacturing in the city. But he also freely admits that the close proximity of a major trout-fishing state park has helped tremendously. "I don't know that (Lebanon) would be the crossroads that it is today," says Heard, "because you've got (Highways) 5, 32 and 64 basically all paralleling at the exact same time. So that's three state routes. Well, where do you think they were headed? They were headed to the state park. And so I think that core, what we call an 'anchor,' really allowed all the other stuff to prosper in Lebanon.

The Whole Story...