Florida parks are creating a huge economic impact in the state by bringing in money that goes directly into local economies. This past year, the parks generated about $1.2 billion.
In fact, The Cross Florida Greenway in Marion County ranks in the top 10 parks in the state, bringing in just under 1 million visitors each year.
Ellen Ettenger, from the Florida Horse Park said Florida parks often attract visitors from other areas.
“I think it brings a lot of people from other areas of the country into the Florida economy,” she said. “That’s how I came to be here actually. You find that once those people come here they like it.”
The Florida Horse Park, which was created by the state to support the state park efforts, brings in about 10,000 visitors each year.
Though the Florida Horse Park has many events that occur throughout the year, some companies operate daily on The Greenway, like Cactus Jack’s Trail Rides.
Timothy Fagaly, a Cactus Jack Trail guide, said The Greenway and The Florida Horse Park help bring in business.
“These guys are very, very generous with us and letting us use this area,” he said.
Visitors from all over the country flock to Florida to experience the parks and unique land Florida has to offer.
Lisa Defalco, a Virginia resident visiting Florida, said she and her family love the parks and that they “spend a lot of time in national parks.”
Nicholas Defalco, a boy scout, also expressed his excitement about the horse park.
“Some of the horses here are really amazing,” he said. “There’s this one horse I really like and his name is batman.”