Yellowstone National Park visitors spent nearly $400 million in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming in 2013 – that’s what officials with the National Parks Service say.

“Yellowstone is a lot of things, but one thing that people don’t always realize – Yellowstone is an economic engine,” Yellowstone National Park spokesperson Al Nash said. “We had almost 3.2 million visitors last year.”

Nash also said park visitation and the regional economic impact of the park has been progressively improving since the 2009 recession.

“We slowly have been trending upward in the number of visitors to Yellowstone, and that means that there are more dollars that our visitors will leave in those surrounding communities,” Nash said.

Nash said most visitor spending in 2013 was on lodging – about 30 percent. Visitors next spent the most on food and beverages, gas, park admission and souvenirs.

Nash also said the spending supported 5,300 jobs in the region during the 2013 season.