Since many Park County businesses depend heavily on tourism dollars generated by their close proximity to Yellowstone National Park, those business owners are anxiously awaiting the announcement on when the park is going to open.

They may have to wait a while longer.

Last Monday, Park Superintendent Cam Sholly held a conference call with interested parties in the gateway communities surrounding the park.

Sholly said the park will open when restrictions in the states surrounding the park are lifted. When that will happen is still up in the air.

Even then, the park will open in phases with limited offerings in staffing, facilities and housing.

In March, Yellowstone Park was experiencing a substantial increase in visitation before the closure.

The economy was strong. People still want to see nature at its finest. Tourists want to come again this year.

Sholly, however, is expecting substantial decreases in visitation and thus revenues for Yellowstone.

Nobody should be surprised by that. Many businesses in the U.S., both tourism and non-tourism related, are suffering substantial losses because of the shutdown.

Most of those businesses will recover. It is just a matter of time.

New businesses will get started. Some will flourish. Some will fail. That is the nature of independent small businesses.

Take heart. Yellowstone Park will be open for visitors some time this year. There will be a tourist season in Cody in 2020. However, nobody yet knows when or what that will look like.

 

(2) comments

Disgusted taxpayer

Cody has long depended on tourist dollars for sustenance....too long.Perhaps it is time to bring back real year around jobs that Cody once had before the glitter of a fast buck caught on.

cam_sholly@nps.gov

Actually I don’t think I said I’m expecting substantial decreases in visitation. To the contrary. I think we can have a very good year. Announcements coming. We’ll work through it together and I understand we want to be safe but get these economies moving again.

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