Recently, I was in an office in La Porte and I noticed, hanging on the wall, a picture from around the turn of the century. It was a photo of the La Porte Door and Sash Company with all of their employees sitting outside. That reminded me of the fact that most of these places in La Porte County and across the country are now automated and no longer need as many people to work for them. One of the only exceptions is the service industry because businesses like restaurants, shops, hotels, hospitals, fire and police departments still rely on a large staff to conduct business.
The U.S. economy has evolved into a service industry with services like retail shopping, dining and hotels, health care, education and other services making up a larger part of the overall economy. Tourism is a very large part of the service industry injecting a half billion dollars into the La Porte County economy each year. Total wages paid in the tourism industry was over $110 million and total federal, state, and local taxes paid due to direct visitors spending was $182 million.