Lake Mead experiences nearly 1 million visitor increase - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Lake Mead experiences nearly 1 million visitor increase

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Visitors enjoy Lake Mead on boats (FOX5). Visitors enjoy Lake Mead on boats (FOX5).

Outdoor enthusiasts and families looking for a fun getaway may have helped spike the number of visitors at Lake Mead Recreation Area.

Nearly 7.9 million visitors flocked to the park in 2017, compared to 5.8 million visitors the year before, according to a National Park Service press release. The 10 percent influx bumped up Lake Mead's rank to the sixth most visited park in the National Park Service. The entrances closest to the Las Vegas Valley received the most traffic. 

Increased visitation numbers means prioritizing maintenance to the park's most popular areas to keep it accessible to the crowds. 

"Along with increased visitation, there are increased needs to prioritize the park's deferred maintenance backlog," said Lizette Richardson, the superintendent for Lake Mead National Recreation Area. "This year, we have numerous multi-million dollar projects underway to modernize the visitor experience and improve public and employee safety, including a $3.4 million project to rehabilitate the Boulder Beach Campground."

Nearly 420 million people have visited the Lake Mead Recreation Area since 1937. It remains one of the top 10 most visited National Park Service sites, the release said. 

Additional information on visitor numbers and project updates can be found on the National Park Service's website

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