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Only half of Yellowstone plans to reopen; Cody businesses are cautiously optimistic about tourism season

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

Yellowstone National Park gateway communities in Wyoming are preparing for an uncertain summer season because only the southern loop of the national park will be open this year due to historic flooding and damage to infrastructure on the northern loop.

The Cody Country Chamber of Commerce is cautiously optimistic that the summer will still be a good one for local businesses, even though executive director Tina Hoebelheinrich said there have been cancellations.

"I know our hoteliers, who work with bus companies that have very specific itineraries that they're tied to, are now just pivoting," she said. "So I know they are seeing cancellations, but then in most cases, they're seeing rebookings just right after them."

Hoebelheinrich said this is a chance for tourists to explore the communities surrounding Yellowstone. She's cautiously optimistic that as people rework their plans, they may decide to spend more time in Cody itself.

"Cody is a destination all on its own. If you are spending four days here, it's great to have easy access to Yellowstone. But there truly is enough to do here for a vacation and a really, really great one," she said.

Yellowstone National Park officials say the southern loop of the park will open sometime early next week with restricted access.

Kamila has worked for public radio stations in California, New York, France and Poland. Originally from New York City, she loves exploring new places. Kamila received her master in journalism from Columbia University. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring the surrounding areas with her two pups and husband.
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