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Stories, Stats, Impacts: Wyoming Public Media is here to keep you current on the news surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

National Park Service Reports Fewer Visitors To Wyoming's National Parks In 2020

Entrance sign of Yellowstone National Park
Alex Ranaldi
Flickr (Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0))

There are two national parks and several other sites owned and maintained by the National Park Service in Wyoming. When COVID-19 first spread across the U.S. in March of 2020, both Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park closed. They started to open back up a few months later, in May.

A recent report from the National Park Service estimated that park visitors spent over $8 million in Wyoming last year. That’s about $65 million less than they spent in 2019.

The number of people in 2020 who visited National Park Service land in Wyoming also decreased 4.6% from 2019. Park visitors in 2020 spent 7% less in neighboring communities than visitors in 2019.

"The pandemic affected operations and visitations at nearly every park in 2020," the report said.

The National Park Service estimates that the money spent by visitors helped to support over 11,000 jobs in Wyoming, which is about 1,000 fewer jobs than was identified in its 2019 report.

The report also said that these declines came from temporary closures during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Martha Harris is from Portland, OR and is currently studying journalism at Brigham Young University, with minors in theatre and global women's studies. Martha loves playing rugby, writing, and cheering on the Portland Thorns.
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