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News for August 14, 2022

Yellowstone’s Closure to Impact Local Tourism

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There’s no doubt among local stakeholders that the closure of Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming) will impact tourism in the area. However, they’re not quite certain what the impact will be.

As per a report, the flooding that prompted the closure of Yellowstone National Park last week with only a few openings expected in the near future forced visitors to change their plans. However, nobody knows how this affects local businesses.

“It’s just so early we don’t really know what’s going to happen,” said Nathan Schiffer, manager at Indian Campground.

Schiffer said on the first day that Yellowstone closed, the campground received a wave of cancellations and new reservations. In an average year, visitors traveling to Yellowstone make up around half of Indian Campground’s business, Schiffer said.

Amid its 150th-anniversary celebrations, the park was hit with numerous mudslides and rockslides, and portions of the road in the park’s north section have been washed away, according to information released by the National Park Service. Flooding also affected communities north of Yellowstone, such as Gardiner, Montana, and Cooke City, Montana.

Many were evacuated, packing hotels in gateway communities surrounding the park. Others on their way to Yellowstone were forced to cancel plans or shift their route mid-journey.

Laura Thorn, who has worked at Buffalo’s visitor information center for nine years, said that the center’s parking lot was full when the evacuation of Yellowstone began.

Since then, many people have been to the visitor center to ask questions concerning what’s going on in Yellowstone and what’s to be done after Yellowstone is shut down.

“I would say if we got 100 people in the building, 75 of them would be on their way to Yellowstone,” Thorn said.

In the days following the flooding, the Wyoming Office of Tourism released alternatives for the numerous attractions available in the state, urging tourists to look at other destinations while in Wyoming.

The tourism industry’s stakeholders stated that Yellowstone tourists account for the majority of their business during a normal year.

According to a study released by the Wyoming Office of Tourism, travel contributed $63 million to Johnson County in 2021 and generated $1.4 million of local sales tax.

Ann Kavanagh, owner of Deer Park campground for the last 43 years, compared the flooding with the Yellowstone fires in 1988.

During the most significant ever recorded fires in the history of Yellowstone, approximately 36% of the park was affected, according to the National Park Service.

The first year following the fires, Johnson County saw a significant tourist decline, Kavanagh said. But the following year, more people than ever visited Yellowstone to see the damage. Kavanagh said she expects the same thing to happen with the flooding.

For more information, visit https://www.nps.gov/yell/index.htm.

This story originally appeared on Buffalo Bulletin.

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Hi, you might find this article from Modern Campground interesting: Yellowstone’s Closure to Impact Local Tourism! This is the link: https://moderncampground.com/usa/wyoming/yellowstones-closure-to-impact-local-tourism/