Beneath a towering granite pavilion, in the smallest state park in Massachusetts, is an unassuming gray boulder with outsized historic and economic importance: Plymouth Rock.
The Rock draws a million visitors a year. Tourism is a powerful economic engine for Plymouth, employing 4,000 workers and generating $30 million annually in local taxes.
Five miles down the coast is Rocky Point, and the town’s other giant economic engine: Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station. Pilgrim is the second-largest private employer in Plymouth. Its approximately 600 workers take home an average paycheck over $100,000 — double the typical wage in town. And the plant pays the highest property taxes in Plymouth.
In May, the nuclear plant is shutting down for good. And Plymouth — known as “America’s Hometown” — will have to adjust to life post-Pilgrim.