By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Yellowstone National Park continues to see its visitation records smashed this summer, recording its best June on record, according to park officials.
The park hosted 938,845 visits in June, a 64% increase from last year (with 573,205 visits) and a 20% increase from June 2019 (781,853 visits).
So far this year, the park has hosted 1,587,988 visits, a 17% increase from 2019. Visits in 2020 are not used for comparison because the park was closed for almost two months due to the coronavirus.
A report on the economic indicators for Wyoming for the first quarter of 2021 issued by the Department of Administration and Information shows tourism numbers have skyrocketed in the state this year compared to 2020.
Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks both saw more than a 20% increase in visitations from January through March of 2021, with Yellowstone seeing 107,846 visitors in the first quarter (up 20.7% compared to last year) and Grand Teton seeing 194,447 visitors (up 22.8% compared to last year).
“Visitation figures for both national parks were the highest recorded for the first quarter in history,” the report said, noting that this was attributed to people wanting to spend time outdoors during the pandemic, while coronavirus cases also trended downward.
According to a National Park Service report, more than 3.8 million people visited Yellowstone National Park last year and spent more than $444 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 6,110 jobs in the area near Yellowstone, which had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $560 million.