The coronavirus wreaked havoc on many industries across Wyoming and America, but tourism in Yellowstone National Park — at least recently — doesn’t seem to have been affected.
The Park Service announced on Thursday that this past August was the second-busiest on record for the area — with visitor numbers coming in at 881,543, second only to 2017, the year of the total solar eclipse.
To be fair, month-by-month records have only been kept since 1979. So there could have been a bigger August. Cavemen, theoretically, could have had a huge August retreat back in 39,000 BC. We just don’t know.
When a spokesperson for the National Park Service was asked why she thought the numbers were up, the spokesperson chose not to speak saying that she didn’t want to speculate.
We can speculate. People are tired of being in their homes and Yellowstone is a great place to be.
Unfortunately, with an increase in tourists comes an increase in visitors who may not behave in the most prudent way — like the two guys charged with harassing bison the other day.
Then there was the moron who miraculously survived when she was out hugging bison like she was at a petting zoo in a McDonald’s parking lot.
Darwin helps keep these numbers down but clearly not enough.
Although it was a great August, overall numbers are down for the year.
Back in June, the outlook was dismal as there was a sizable drop in visitors. But the park has rebounded since then.
So far in 2020, the park has hosted 2,546,373 recreation visits, down 18% from the same period last year. But, the park got a late start because of the pandemic.
The park was closed due to health and safety reasons related to COVID-19 beginning March 24, 2020. Two Wyoming entrances opened on May 18 and three Montana entrances opened on June 1, 2020. All five entrances have been open since June 1.
If you are interested in all of these statistics, here’s a good page for you. It includes traffic counts, camping reports, how counting is administered, etc. etc. Lots of good stuff.