Yellowstone National Park Bookings Are Topping 2009 Record Levels

2530261_Old_Faithfull-Yellowstone.jpgDespite 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,” Colin Campbell, deputy superintendent of Yellowstone, told the
paper.

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
told the paper.

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 such as 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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