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Yellowstone Bookings Topping ’09 Record Levels

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May 25, 2010 by   Leave a Comment

Old Faithful, Yellowstone National Park

Old Faithful, Yellowstone National Park

Despite the lingering effects of a weak global economy, National Park Service managers are expecting plenty of visitors this summer, coming off a record year in 2009 for Yellowstone National Park, according to the Billings (Mont.) Gazette.

“By all indications, we are expecting to see another healthy visitation year,” said Colin Campbell, deputy superintendent of Yellowstone.

Campbell and Bob Vogel, acting superintendent for Grand Teton National Park, spoke Monday (May 24) during a luncheon as part of the 59th National Parks Day in Cody, Wyo.

Advance bookings reported by Xanterra, a lodging concessionaire in Yellowstone, are up compared with the same time last year, which saw a record summer and an annual total of nearly 3.3 million visitors, Campbell said.

“We learned that we were setting records in July and in August as visitation was robust, and we expect to see that again this year,” he said.

Visitation was up by just less than 1% last year in Grand Teton, but in the poor economy park managers were pleased to see any rise, Vogel said.

“Advance bookings are up with our park concessionaires and throughout Jackson Hole, so we are expecting a robust season,” he said.

With Xanterra’s room reservations up 11% so far over last year and its campground reservations up 14%, 2010 may see plenty of traffic, but could bring more people looking to cut costs while still taking a vacation to Yellowstone Country, Haines said.

Claudia Wade, marketing director for the Park County Travel Council, said that businesses like moderately priced and high-end restaurants may again see more families eating picnic lunches or dining at fast-food spots, as was the case last year.

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