tourism

Brocken Inaglory via CC BY-SA 3.0

Every year, thousands of American and international tourists pass through Cody as they leave or enter Yellowstone National Park. The summer tourism season officially starts May 1, when the park's east gate opens. That's usually a busy time, but things might be different this year.

The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing federal, state and local governments to take drastic measures. And in Nevada, Gov. Steve Sisolak did something never done before: he ordered all casinos in the state to shut down for 30 days.

Updated 9:11 a.m. MDT 3/17/2020

“Please. Do. More. Now.” 

That's the message Moab Regional Hospital sent yesterday to Gov. Gary Herbert. In a letter, the hospital’s leadership asked Herbert to close all non-essential businesses in Moab for two weeks because of the coronavirus outbreak. They wrote that Moab could see up to 6,000 visitors next weekend, based on current hotel bookings. 

Restaurants, bars and major ski resorts have begun to temporarily shut down across the Mountain West this week in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. But economists said it’s still too early to fully understand the breadth of how these closures will impact the region’s booming tourism economy.

Yellowstone National Park/Creative Commons

As international travel bans have been put into effect, Park County is preparing for potential impacts to its summer tourism season. The federal government has barred the entry of all foreign nationals who had visited China, Iran and a group of European countries in the past 14 days.

Catherine Wheeler

On a cloudless February morning, Sheridan residents and visitors packed onto Broadway Street's sidewalks behind bright orange barricades that blocked a long ice path down the street. Skijoring Horses, riders and skiers, lined up around the start line at the north end of the road.

Catherine Wheeler

Last year's first Sheridan Winter Rodeo and skijoring race provided an economic boost during a season when the city's tourism historically lags.

J. Stephen Conn / Flickr


April Poley is a broker and real estate agent in Gillette, Wyoming. Lately she's been getting a lot of her potential clients through a business called Conservative Move.

Whitney Western Art Museum

Cars were first allowed in Yellowstone National Park in 1915, starting a popular new way to explore the park through auto tourism. In an effort to promote tourism in the park, artists were commissioned by auto tourism companies to help advertise Yellowstone National Park.

Warner Brothers

Changes are coming to Buffalo's annual Longmire Days festival.

The four-day event celebrates the fictional sheriff Walt Longmire, the central character in a series of books by author Craig Johnson. In 2012, the mystery series was adapted into a popular television show.

Steamboat Springs, like many of Colorado's high country resort communities, is grappling with how it wants to grow.

The city itself has more than doubled in population since 1990. Seasonal tourist booms formerly contained to summer and winter have bled over into spring and fall. With its increasingly sought after outdoor amenities, like hot springs, camping, hiking, mountain biking and skiing, the town swells with visitors most weekends out of the year.

Area 51, the mysterious military installation on the edge of the Mojave desert in Nevada, has fascinated people for decades. But that fascination may come to a head as thousands of people are expected to descend upon the site to take part in a viral event called “Storm Area 51.” KUNR’s Paul Boger reports from Rachel, Nevada.

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.

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