tourism

Andrew Farkas via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

It's road trip season. And one thing you might do when you're driving across the country-or the state-is stop when you see a historical marker. Now, an app based in Jackson is bringing that marker into the car.

JACKSON, Wyo. — In this corner of the Cowboy State, where homes start at $1 million, it may appear Teton County Sheriff Matt Carr made out like a bandit.

MOAB — After a recent 12-hour nursing shift at the local hospital, Ryan Huels took stock of his tidy home just south of this high desert town.

Parks across our region are seeing dramatic increases in visitation. Land managers are trying to balance visitor experience with conservation, including at the popular Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, just west of Las Vegas, Nevada.

Public Domain

Devils Tower National Monument has announced a series of summer activities for park visitors. Park staff worked with the Devils Tower Natural History Association to create a series that represents the history and culture of the monument.

MOAB — About 40 miles north from the tourist hordes in town and set against a backdrop of tan clay and red mesas, the vista looked primed for a nature magazine cover shoot: early afternoon, the desert bloom in full force, awash with purple and yellow flowers. Quiet.

A 2017 “flash drought” on the northern Great Plains led to massive wildfires, millions of dollars in lost tourism revenue and $2.6 billion in agricultural losses, according to a new federal report released Thursday.

CANYONLANDS NATIONAL PARK, UTAH — The dark blue, predawn sky was just beginning to brighten over Mesa Arch — a once-hidden gem in southern Utah — as Jonathan Zhang frantically set up his camera and tripod.

Wyoming Department of Transportation

A project to repair a slide on the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway, 20 miles from Cody, will be resuming work next week. The $5.54 million repair started last August after the road slid in April.

Cody Beers, a public relations specialist with the Wyoming Department of Transportation, said this road is very important to the state because it connects Wyoming to the North East Entrance of Yellowstone National Park and the All-American Beartooth Highway.

It’s no secret that in peak season Yellowstone National Park is getting really, really crowded these days.

Eric Krszjzaniek

What do you get when you put together a horse, a pair of skis, and two daredevils? It's an old sport that's being revived across our region.

Catherine Wheeler

The winter in Northeastern Wyoming isn't exactly known for attracting large amounts of tourists. But that's where Shawn Parker, the executive director for Sheridan Travel and Tourism, saw an opportunity.

Catherine Wheeler / Wyoming Public Media

Sheridan hosted its first-ever winter rodeo in February. The main event was a skijoring competition-the largest competition so far this year in the U.S.

Falmouth Public Library

The Wyoming Senate has given initial support to a five percent lodging tax that could provide over $20 million to Wyoming's tourism industry. Three percent of the tax would go towards state tourism promotion and the other two percent would go to counties to promote local tourism. Senator Hank Coe of Cody said during floor debate that the tax is important.

Leonard J. DeFrancisci via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

The Wyoming legislature is considering a bill that would raise millions to support the state's tourism economy.

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

A legislative committee has approved an attempt to get more money to the Wyoming Department of Tourism to promote the state and bring in more state revenue.

Public Domain

For the fifth year in the row, the National Park Foundation and Subaru are partnering up to give a percentage of proceeds from the Subaru “Share the Love” event. It will give a percentage of proceeds to support waste reduction efforts in three of the most visited national parks. The funding has been directed towards pilot projects in Grand Teton, Yosemite and Denali National Parks. 

A new environmental assessment by the National Park Service proposes improvements to the infrastructure surrounding Devils Tower National Monument. The plan would bring the visitors center and Tower Trail up to modern accessibility standards.

USFWS Mountain-Prairie

The federal government recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding document, agreeing to support efforts to develop tourism opportunities in Indian Country. 

Maggie Mullen

When visiting Yellowstone National Park or any parks in our region, there's a lot to consider. Will traffic be bad? What about the weather? Will I see elk, buffalo, maybe even a grizzly bear? And then there's something more basic. Will I be able to find a toilet that's clean, has toilet paper, and if I'm lucky, somewhere to wash my hands? You could be in for a surprise, since the park recently added squat toilets.

Leonard J. DeFrancisci via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.


Travel and hospitality is the second largest industry in Wyoming. As tourists flood the state in summer, the industry relies on seasonal workers to keep things running smoothly. But more and more, seasonal workers have been harder to come by in the local workforce so businesses depend on visa programs that bring in foreign guest workers. The two most commonly used are the J-1 visa, which sponsors students, and the H-2B visa, which brings in workers to fill in temporary, non-agricultural positions.

Courtesy of Ken Lund, Flickr Creative Commons

Last month, Yellowstone National Park experienced the busiest May on record with close to 450,000 visits to the park. With visitation trends only going up, the park is trying to understand what decisions will have to be made in the future.

Tourists crowd downtown Jackson last summer.
Bob Beck


The University of Wyoming will be launching an Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Management degree this fall. It’s been a three-year effort, but those in the industry have wanted the degree for almost 20 years.

Bob Beck

Last year the governor set up the Economically Needed Diversity Options for Wyoming Council, better known as ENDOW.

After a few months of touring the state and meetings, ENDOW has developed a list of recommendations to start setting the stage for diversifying the economy. Greg Hill is the Chairman of Endow and he tells Bob Beck why ENDOW is different from past economic development efforts. 

Caroline Ballard

If you still have your eclipse glasses, don’t throw them away just yet. The Wyoming Department of Transportation is partnering with the organization Astronomers Without Borders in an effort to redistribute them.

J O’Brien, a spokesman for WYDOT, said this was the most widely viewed eclipse in history, and many people used solar filter glasses to see it.

Maggie Mullen

People have been making preparations for years to travel hundreds of miles to see the 2017 total solar eclipse. In Casper, where thousands of people showed up, skies were clear and views under the path of totality were once in a lifetime.

The day before the eclipse, and downtown Casper was hard to recognize. Second Street had been closed off to traffic and hundreds of pedestrians were checking out the food vendors and the many different kinds of eclipse swag on display. Resident and vendor Brooke Hopkins said the most coveted item was going fast.

Goshen County is not used to being a major destination. But thanks to the eclipse, it was. Over 100,000 people visited the county to set up tents and campers as well as visit local festivities.  Reporter Cooper McKim flew over the county, saw downtown Tor
Cooper McKim

Goshen County is not used to being a major destination. But thanks to the eclipse, it was. Over 100,000 people visited the county to set up tents and campers as well as visit local festivities. Reporter Cooper McKim flew over the county, saw downtown Torrington celebrate, and witnessed the eclipse with hundreds of others in Fort Laramie. Here’s what it felt like to be there:

287 Lander Southeast
WyDOT

Traffic got back to normal yesterday, according to Wyoming’s Department of Transportation. Officials reported historic levels of traffic Monday, the 21, following the solar eclipse or a 68 percent increase of overall traffic compared to the five-year average for the third Monday in August — much of that concentrated in central, western, and southern Wyoming.

Doug McGee, public affairs manager for WYDOT, said visitors started entering the state in larger numbers last Wednesday, picking up each day leading to the eclipse.

Site overlooking Fort Laramie B & B
Cooper McKim

During the eclipse, the Fort Laramie B & B saw a bigger crowd than they have ever seen. The four-bedroom lodge saw more than a hundred camped out. The crowd was comprised of a family reunion, researchers, and tourists all gathered together. A group from the University of Montana was there thanks to a space grant from NASA. 

One student, Loren Spencer, took advantage of the clear sky the night before the eclipse to set up his telescope. With several gathered around, he pointed to a long streak that he identified as the Milky Way. 

Wyoming Department of Transportation

Heavy eclipse traffic in Wyoming caused slower travel than usual. Wyoming Department of Transportation spokesman Doug McGee said on Sunday alone traffic counts increased by more than 27 percent compared to the five-year average statewide. But certain areas saw exponential increases. For example, north of Laramie on U.S. 30-287 traffic increased by 214 percent on Sunday according to WYDOT.

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