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All ten National Park Service sites in Wyoming contribute $1 billion to the state

 History Category: Krissy Borcher, "Devils Tower"
Krissy Borcher
History Category: Krissy Borcher, "Devils Tower"

Wyoming has ten places managed by the National Park Service (NPS). Almost everyone knows of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park. But there’s also Devils Tower and Fossil Butte. A recent NPS report shows those sites help contribute quite a bit to the state's economy. It looked at visitation in communities within a 60 mile radius of those parks.

In the last year, people visiting those places contributed over $1 billion to the state economy.

Naaman Horn, a NPS spokesperson, said in the past couple of years Wyoming has seen an increase in visitation and spending. But this past year, both actually decreased.

“Certainly there are a lot of factors at play. From pandemics to the economy to how much people are traveling out of the country to how much people are traveling in the country and across states,” said Horn. “And, of course, last year, Yellowstone had that flood, which impacted visitation at Yellowstone and [Grand] Teton and across the state as well.”

However, the $1 billion number is actually lower than in previous years.

“You'll see from the data that it doesn't always go up. Like, for example, this year in Wyoming, visitation and spending were down compared to the previous year,” he said.

Spending at hotels, restaurants and transportation is driving most of the related economic activity in the state.

Although visitation is down by a little, Horn said, overall, the trend of visiting national parks is increasing nationally.

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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