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Gillette City Administrators are “excited” for a mass influx of visitors next month

Aerial shots of area where large amphitheater will be constructed and Cam-Plex facilities in the background
Angela Williams / Administration-City of Gillette
The Cam-Plex site will be used during the week long Camporee

The city of Gillette is preparing for the International Pathfinder Camporee. It’s a week-long youth oriented event put on by the Seventh Day Adventist Church every five years. City Administrator Mike Cole said the atmosphere around Gillette is that of “excitement”. Gillete will be the largest city for one week with the influx of visitors.

Cole said the city is prepared, and the camporee will be helping out as well.

“The camporee themselves through the Pathfinders group are providing volunteer medical staff. So it'll complement the professional staff that we have within Gillette, Campbell County. And like I said, I think we've got plenty of resources to accommodate a very large community for a week,” said Cole.

Despite taking place in Gillette, this is a large-scale effort.

“This is largely a partnership with the state of Wyoming and all the various entities within Gillette and Campbell County,” said Cole.

To that end, the city government has worked with multiple other county governments, the state government, sheriffs offices, as well as emergency services to help maintain a safe environment. Businesses throughout Gillette were coordinated well ahead of the upcoming event to make sure they can meet demands and prep stores for a rush of new customers.

On the technical side, Gillette has invested in temporary cell towers and extra porta-potties to help accommodate the influx of people. Cole feels confident on the side of public services.

“From a service standpoint, I don't have any concerns about water and sewer and trash collection. We've got some very good plans in place,” he said. “We've been working with our partners in other communities and they've landed us a hand in terms of helping us out with some of the trash collection and some of the day-to-day duties that we perform,” said Cole.

Hotels and Airbnbs in Gillette have been booked for months in advance. To compensate for the sudden increase in population, Cole said the city has worked to provide additional options.

“We've opened up some bar zoning ordinances to allow for temporary camping, rental of campers and RVs and motorhomes within not only our residential zoning districts, but also some commercial and industrial areas,” he said. “So hopefully the influx of that rental stock through, Airbnb will be able to accommodate the folks that don't have a hotel reservation in place.

Cole hopes the event will bring positive attention to the City of Gillette. He said it could be vital to diversifying the community, and if things go well, then Gillette will be “looking forward to promoting the success of this event for future events.”

Jordan Uplinger was born in NJ but has traveled since 2013 for academic study and work in Oklahoma, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. He gained experience in a multitude of areas, including general aviation, video editing, and political science. In 2021, Jordan's travels brought him to find work with the Wyoming Conservation Corps as a member of Americorps. After a season with WCC, Jordan continued his Americorps service with the local non-profit, Feeding Laramie Valley. His deep interest in the national discourse on class, identity, American politics and the state of material conditions globally has led him to his current internship with Wyoming Public Radio and NPR.

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