tourism

Kate Russo, a self-described eclipse chaser, said she is coming to Wyoming to watch the eclipse because of the state’s normally sunny August weather and impressive vistas.

“When you look at the whole path of totality, when you think about where would be the most ideal beautiful location to see such an amazing, awesome nature event, obviously Grand Teton National Park really stood out. And it stood out for many, many, many people,” said Russo.

Kate Russo

For most people, Monday will be the first - and possibly last - time they will ever see an eclipse. But for some seeing an eclipse is almost like an addiction. These people are called Eclipse Chasers. Think “Deadheads” for the sun; they’ll do anything to catch the next show.

David Makepeace, also known as “The Eclipse Guy,” said he was hooked after seeing his first total solar eclipse in Mexico’s Baja peninsula in 1991.

Courtesy of the National Museum of Wildlife Art

  The National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson is celebrating 30 years this weekend.  The museum first opened in 1987 and has grown into an important tourist attraction.  One of the founding board members was Maggie Scarlett.  She tells Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck that it’s been fun to watch the museum grow. 

For more information on the museum go to www.wildlifeart.org

The Modern West 26: Going To The Movies

Aug 15, 2017

Wyoming is the setting for many a Western—even if the films aren’t shot on location. But even if big studios pass the state by, Wyomingites are making their own movies. 

Luc Viatour / https://Lucnix.be

The Wyoming Department of Transportation is taking several steps to prepare for what could be an influx of hundreds of thousands of visitors to the state during the August 21 total eclipse.

To start, WYDOT will stop construction on most projects in the path of totality from August 17 through the 23. No overweight or oversize permits will be issued between August 20 and 22 on Wyoming roads, and troopers will be working 12-hour shifts.

CGP Grey (2009-09-09T19-50-42 -- DSC_0245 4893627106) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Eighty-three-year-old Ralph Deckett stood outside the Curt Gowdy State Park visitor center, broom in hand. Now retired from the FBI, Deckett spends much of his time looking after museums and recreation sites like Curt Gowdy, where he had been volunteering since the beginning of July.

“We just try to keep it nice, the best we can around here. It’s amazing how people can trash out a place,” Deckett said.

Bob Beck

Many Wyoming communities are expecting a surge in visitors in the days surrounding the August 21 eclipse, but Jackson officials say if the weather holds it could be anywhere between 50,000 to 80,000 extra people visiting the area. Jackson is always packed on that date, but the potential increase in visitors has led to months of planning and the hiring of a coordinator to make sure Jackson Hole can get through the event. 

USPS

On August 21, a solar eclipse will be visible across a huge swath of Wyoming and across the country. To mark the occasion, a new stamp was dedicated by the United States Postal Service at the University of Wyoming Art Museum Tuesday.

People from around the state and around the country came for the dedication, including Denise Delgado, a postmaster at the Glendo post office, who said she first became interested in the eclipse a few years ago.

Wyoming Beef Council

Three Japanese food editors visited Wyoming last week to learn more about how beef is raised and cooked in the U.S. The tour was part of a partnership between the Wyoming Beef Council and the U.S. Meat Export Federation. 

Wyoming Beef Council director Ann Wittmann said the U.S. shipped 425 million pounds of beef to Japan alone in 2016. That brought in over $1 billion for U.S. beef producers. Wittmann said Japanese markets also prefer cuts that U.S. consumers don’t have a taste for.

University of Wyoming Extension

If you’re looking for a way to spice up your summer road trips here in Wyoming, there’s a new tool to enjoy landmarks you might otherwise miss.

ExploreWYO is a map-based website — optimized for smartphones — featuring close to 400 videos produced by the University of Wyoming Extension. These 90-second stories dive into little-known-facts about Wyoming’s landscape and culture from wildlife and geology to cattle grazing and energy production.

 

Wyoming State Parks

Many communities and hotels in Wyoming are preparing for a busy few days surrounding the August eclipse. State Parks Administrator Dominic Bravo says that it should be very busy in parks along the eclipse.

Dr. Michael Pierce

Wyoming is scrambling to prepare for the August 21st total solar eclipse which could attract so many people here that it'll double the state's population. But one thing many people may not be prepared for is what to watch for in a total solar eclipse. Wyoming Public Radio's Melodie Edwards sat down with University of Wyoming astronomer Mike Pierce to get some tips. Pierce says this eclipse is known as the Great American solar eclipse because the shadow of it will race at almost 2,000 miles an hour across the entire U.S. from Oregon to South Carolina. 

University of Wyoming Department of Physics and Astronomy

With the Great American Solar Eclipse coming up in less than three months, Wyomingites should find a good viewing site now. The population of the state is expected to double in size, but according to University of Wyoming astronomy professor Mike Pierce, they'll all be crowding into what's called the umbra, the 50-mile shadow of the moon that will make a stripe from Jackson to Torrington.

Melodie Edwards / Wyoming Public Radio

The 8th annual Laramie Local Food Gathering will offer 12 workshops on “modern homesteading.” Topics range from how to raise small animals for meat and fiber to composting and soil improvement tips, and even one workshop just for kids on edible insects.

Chris Nicholson is director of the Water Resources Data System at the University of Wyoming. He’ll be speaking at the event on how climate change could affect gardening and ranching in southeast Wyoming.

Ryan Britt

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced last week that national parks added about $35 billion to the economy in 2016. But some industry analysts are seeing signs that new travel bans and immigration policies may impact that growth in 2017. 

Tourism is the second largest industry in Wyoming with visitors spending $3.2 billion and supporting almost 32,000 jobs in 2016. And Zinke announced record breaking revenues of nearly $40 billion thanks to National Park visitation nationwide.

Travels with Darley

This month the PBS television show called Travels with Darley comes to Wyoming. The episode will air Monday night, April 17th at 10 p.m. on Wyoming PBS. The host Darley Newman joins Bob Beck to discuss the show.

Flickr Creative Commons

A bill to incentivize movie production companies to film in Wyoming passed the Wyoming Senate today. 

Senate File 24 will give the Wyoming Tourism Board more flexibility when it comes to reimbursing certain costs of film making to production companies, and investments in those production companies.

Douglas Senator Brian Boner said movie production itself won't bring revenue directly into the state, but it could attract tourism.

Credit Wikimedia Commons

Wyoming’s federal parks and monuments are expected to have more visitors than usual because of the National Park Service’s centennial and low gas prices. But officials in the small town of Sundance near Devil’s Tower National Monument say extra tourism dollars probably won’t help them with their budget shortfalls.

The number of visitors to Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park are up 26 percent and 15 percent, respectively, for the month of May from last year. Devil’s Tower National Monument has seen a 30 percent jump in April visitors.

flickr: Old Man Travels

When Community Naturalist Zach Hutchinson moved to Wyoming three years ago, he had trouble finding updated guide books for where to find the best places in the state to view birds. So in his spare time, he started creating a map. This summer, in collaboration with the Rocky Mountain chapter of the Audubon Society, he plans to release an app called the Great Wyoming Birding Trail.

“Let’s say you’re coming to the National Parks in the northwest corner to see the great grey owl, but you have no idea where to start. This is going to put you in the place to see that great grey owl.”

Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites & Trails

The Wyoming State Parks division is looking to rebrand itself and fuel more Wyoming tourism.

The division's new media strategy will start with redesigned logos. Research shows visitors often confuse state parks with federal sites like National Parks.

State Parks Administrator Domenic Bravo says the goal is to establish a memorable "look and feel" for the State Parks brand. "We need to tell our story and we need to tell it in a way that lasts for centuries," he says.

Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites & Trails

For the third straight year, the Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites and Trails division reported record-breaking numbers. Visitors to recreation sites increased 8 percent, and revenue increased 10 percent.

State Parks Administrator Domenic Bravo sys because of customer feedback, the agency was able to implement a lot of the amenities people had been asking for, like RV hook-ups, yurts and camping cabins.

The Wyoming Office of Tourism

The Wyoming Office of Tourism is trying out a new strategy to bring visitors to the cowboy state in 2016. In addition to spot marketing in places like Colorado, Chicago, and Portland the office is launching a nationwide marketing campaign that will feature TV and digital advertisements.

Diane Shober, the executive director at the state’s office of tourism, says the national marketing campaign will launch around the end of February, but it won’t be the only way the office is trying to get the word out about visiting Wyoming.

Miles Bryan

Head east from Cheyenne’s F.E. Warren Air Force Base for about thirty minutes and you will see a few wooden A-frame buildings sitting just off the highway. Go inside the big one and you’ll find a ladder. Climb down about a hundred feet, walk past the foot-thick metal blast door,  and you’re inside Quebec 1, a former launch control  center for one of the deadliest weapons ever made–a “Peacekeeper” intercontinental nuclear missile.

Wikimedia Commons

Yellowstone is heading for a record tourist season.

At every Yellowstone attraction, there were crowds this summer. There were lines of people with cameras and spotting scopes roadside, and miles long traffic jams when motorists failed to pull over for the iconic park wildlife.

More than 3 million visitors were in the Park by the end of August. Records were set every summer month. Gateway communities like Cody benefited. The owner of the Proud Cut Saloon, Del Nose, said it was busy.

According to the Wyoming Office of Tourism, the state is poised for another record-breaking summer tourism season. 

10.1 million visitors came to Wyoming in 2014, and this year the state could see even more. Diane Shober, the Executive Director of the tourism office, says that it is thanks to a combination of strong advance booking numbers for national parks, an ongoing marketing campaign, and low gas prices.

Wallpaperslot.com

2014 was a record year for Grand Teton National Park visitations.

The national park had about 2.8 million recreational visits last year. The previous record holder, 1998 was beaten out by 34 thousand visits. Public Affairs Officer Jackie Skaggs says some of the factors that made the park so popular in 1990’s are surfacing again.

Aaron Schrank

    

Income and wealth disparities in the U.S. are the most pronounced they’ve been in decades. Perhaps nowhere is the gap between luxury and poverty more apparent than in Jackson. The small ski town sits in the county with the highest average income in the country. But it’s also home to a growing number of Mexican immigrants who come to work in Jackson’s tourism economy. Teton County residents boast a median household income of $72,000, but for immigrant households, it’s just $26,000. That inequity has repercussions for Jackson's youth.

Administrators at Central Wyoming College’s culinary and hospitality program in Jackson are considering a new class schedule to allow students to continue working at hotels and resorts during the region’s busy seasons.

Students working towards associates degrees at CWC Jackson currently attend classes on a typical semester schedule. Program Director Amy Madera says the new schedule would be condensed into the tourism off-season—October and November—and April and May.

John Hebberger

Grand Teton National Park is joining up with a National Parks initiative that would raise the cost of entrance fees.

The proposal would double the price of a 7-day entrance fee to access both Grand Teton and Yellowstone. The parks would also have separate 7-day entrance fees. The fifty-dollar annual pass to Grand Teton and Yellowstone would also be eliminated, instead offering a sixty-dollar annual pass to Grand Teton alone.

Penny Preston

Yellowstone National Park lost two hundred cabins this spring. They were part of the park’s largest lodging complex. No, it’s not in the Old Faithful area, nor Mammoth. Penny Preston reports it’s in Canyon Village, where the park’s biggest hotel once stood.

PENNY PRESTON:  The Canyon Hotel was Yellowstone’s largest, from 1910, until 1960. It was created by Old Faithful Inn architect Robert Reamer. 

ROBERT REAMER:  “My parents used to like to go up there and have dinner.”

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