Gas Prices and Tourism

Cody, WY – The tourism industry is closely watching the nation's rising gas prices. Predictions of $2 per gallon and higher are being made for Wyoming, which gets most of its tourists from the so-called drive market. Thom Huge is the Communications Director at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center. The BBHC's visitation numbers have been on an upswing in recent years, but Huge says there is some concern that gas prices could cut into this season. He says prices at the pump are always an issue, but its impacts are hard to predict. Huge believes it's a question of what the American pain threshold for gas prices is. Huge says there are two ways to look at how much impact gas prices could have. They could force people to cut back on their vacations and using Cody as an example, they may go to Yellowstone, but skip the BBHC. Huge says the other view is that after 9/11 travelers are saving money by driving instead of flying, so the increasing gas prices don't have as much influence. The average gallon of regular unleaded gas in Wyoming is now a $1.71. That's 11 cents higher then a year ago.