tourism

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.

Xanterra Changes Will Impact Cody Tourism

May 30, 2014
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.”

Snowest Magazine has ranked the Continental Divide Snowmobile Trail the fifth best trail in the West.  Wyoming State Trails Program’s Ron McKinney says the reason the Continental Divide Trail is so popular is that it offers 490 miles of very diverse mountain riding.  The trail starts at South Pass and ends at West Yellowstone. 

Albany County Tourism Board

The forced closures of Wyoming’s national parks have frustrated tourists and slowed business in gateway communities, but tourism offices in the state are working to draw visitors to other locales that aren’t as strongly affected by the shutdown.

The Albany County Tourism Board has released a series of web graphics to encourage people to visit the region.

Spokeswoman Brittany Richards says they have spread virally over social media. One poster reads “The Tetons may be closed, but the Snowy Range is wide, wide open.”

Trespassing citations have been issued to several people attempting to enter Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks since the federal government shutdown closed the parks.

 Yellowstone spokesman Al Nash says that the park is running on minimal staff, with hundreds of employees furloughed due to the shutdown.

 “We have just over a hundred national park service employees on duty on any given day during this shutdown” explains Nash “Across 2.2 million acres mind you, and hundreds of miles of road.”

Visitors are turned away from Grand Teton National Park due to government shutdown
Rebecca Huntington

HOST INTRO: As the government shutdown continues, the impacts are evident in Teton County where the economy is closely tied to federal lands and federal workers. Rebecca Huntington has more from Jackson. 

REBECCA HUNTINGTON: Foreign visitors inspect a three-D model of Jackson Hole and use the public restrooms at the Home Ranch welcome center, located on the main highway to Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. This is where the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce has set up a temporary table to help tourists locked out of national parks by the government shutdown.

This year the Wyoming Office of Tourism expects to meet or exceed last summer’s record-setting visitation numbers.

Diane Shober, the state travel and tourism director, says her data comes from national park visitation numbers, and from how many people stop at welcome centers along the state's boundaries. She says the number of visitors to the new welcome center south of Cheyenne has been up 80 percent some weeks from last year. “I am really optimistic that we're going to have an equally good summer in 2013 as we did in 2012,” she says.

Laramie businesses benefit from Jubilee Days

Jul 8, 2013

Once again, the annual Rodeo event Jubilee Days has come to Laramie and merchants hope it will bring a surge in tourism.  Laramie Chamber of Commerce Vice President Josie Davies says that Jubilee Days brings a diversity of tourists to for the week’s events that includes a rodeo, a carnival, and downtown events.  Those events do lead to some street closures. Davies says that while some are concerned, she says that all businesses benefit from Jubilee Days.

Wikimedia Commons

Jackson Hole Air Improvement Resources has announced expanded flight service into Jackson for the next winter season, including new direct flights to and from New York’s JFK airport and Seattle.

 Last winter, Jackson Hole saw increases in air travelers, skiers, and sales tax revenue, all of which helped Air Improvement Resources negotiate more flights with airlines.

 Mike Gierau, co-chair of Jackson Hole Air Improvement Resources (AIR), says the new and expanded service points will help the area recover from previous years’ lower tourism numbers.

This summer, the State of Wyoming and the City of Casper will sponsor a four-day adventure race, in which participants will hike, bike, and paddle more than 300 miles across the state. At the Governor’s Tourism Conference this week, Governor Matt Mead said the event will draw visitors from across North America and show off the state’s tourist attractions.Rev 3 Adventure, an event and race production company, will organize the Cowboy Tough Adventure Weekend.Company spokesman Michael Spiller described the race as a giant scavenger hunt, inspired by Wyoming attractions and history.

A new report from the Outdoor Industry Association quantifies the economic benefits of outdoor recreation in all fifty states. The study looked at direct spending, jobs, salaries and tax revenue. 

Spokesperson Avery Stonich says the data demonstrates the value of outdoor recreation beyond the obvious – natural beauty and fun.

“Wyoming has a lot of really great recreation opportunities,” says Stonich, “this produces consumer spending to the tune of four and a half billion dollars every year that’s going directly into the state economy.”

A new report released by the State Tourism Office shows that tourism in Wyoming generated $128 million in tax revenues in 2012. That’s a 7.6% increase over taxes generated by tourism in 2011.

The number of visitors to the state also grew by 4% from 8.34 million in 2011 to 8.67 million in 2012.

Diane Shober, Director of the Wyoming Office of Tourism, says that this higher tax revenue might be coming from more focused marketing techniques and increased cooperation between state, local, and private tourism groups.

Adventure Race Is Coming To Wyoming

Aug 6, 2012

A company is bringing what they are calling The Epic Adventure Race to the state of Wyoming.  Plans are to have the race begin in one portion of the state each year and end up in Casper. 

It will involve Mountain Biking, paddling and trail running.  Michael Spiller of the Company Rev 3 says it will feature some of the top adventure racers in the World and will showcase some of Wyoming’s famous and historic landscape.

Wyoming’s state parks are getting fewer visitors than usual, and park officials say it’s probably because of the ban on campfires.

State Parks Chief of Operations Bill Westerfield says the decline in visitors will mean less money will be available for future improvements at parks and historic sites.

“The user fees – camping and day use fees – go into an enterprise account, and we use that money to build new facilities and to conduct major maintenance on the facilities we have,” Westerfield said.