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The Importance of Selected Facilities, Programs, and Services to Older Visitors to National Parks

Francis A. McGuire, Joseph T. O'Leary, F. Dominic Dottavio


Data were gathered from 300 holders of Golden Age Passports who visited atleast two National Park Service areas in 1987. These individuals were asked to evaluate the importance of 34 potential services, facilities, and programs in order to determine how important each was to making a park an ideal place to visit. Analysis of the data indicated that the most important attributes of an ideal park were the upkeep of facilities, information signs, upkeep of grounds, information sources such as maps, and park staff. The least important attributes of the ideal park were the availability of active recreation activities such as hunting, snowmobile trails, boating, and swimming. The importance values of eachofthe 34 attributes were subjected to a factor analysis to identify any broad categories of important attributes that would reduce the original list of 34 items to more economical groups. Results of the factor analysis indicated five factors that effectively defined the original 34 items. These factors were labeled" activity," "basic services," "supplementary services," "education," and "nature."?


Aging, outdoor recreation, park management, national parks, National Park Service.

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