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Yellowstone National Park Visitation on the Rise, Expected to Continue Going Up During Summer Months

Bull Elks In Yellowstone National Park
Photo by Bill Schaefer/Getty Images

Visitation to Yellowstone National Park for the month of May and for the first five months of 2014 is up almost six percent compared to the previous year. Dan Hottle from Yellowstone said visitation picked up in May as weather improved and interior roads and visitor facilities began to open to the public.

“Well it seems that not only for the month of May but for the first five months of the new year here, we’ve seen about a six percent uptick in visitors,” Hottle said. “That’s not a whole lot, but we’re talking about 30,000 or so visitors that we had over last year. That’s a positive sign for us going into this summer.”

Last year, Hottle said visitation is pretty comparable to what Yellowstone has been seeing in the last five years.

“We instituted a new multiplier, the way we count people into the park, and we used a person per vehicle multiplier. That changed last year,” Hottle said. “The numbers changed around a little bit. It looked like we had a slight uptick last year, but when you take into account that multiplier, it was really pretty much on average. But when you take this year, we’re using the same multiplier as last year so when we’re comparing the two, a six percent raise is an actual raise in visitors.”

There were 310,039 recreational visitors to Yellowstone in May and a total of 415,185 for the first five months of 2014.  That compares to 293,250 recreational visitors for May 2013 and 392,222 recreational visitors for January through May 2013.

Hottle said July is typically the park’s peak visitation month, followed in order by August, June, September, and May.

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