Wyoming tourism depends a lot on summer weather

Monday, July 31, 2023


Wyoming’s summer weather is about as variable as it gets, resulting in lush green pastures and arid, desolate land separated by only a few miles.

Wyoming’s economy, from its agriculture industry to tourism, is impacted by the weather. Cooler-than-normal temperatures lingered in several areas of the state even by mid-summer when heat waves spread over America in July.

The Old Farmers Almanac for 2023 projected that summertime temperatures would be above average over the country, but chilly across the Rockies and Great Basin.

The Earth reached record-high temperatures by the beginning of July, but according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, late in June, northern Wyoming received nearly four inches of rain, compared to a 30-year normal of 1.04 inches.

Tourism was impacted by high water levels and spring runoff, but things have stabilized.

Until October, Two Rivers offer river tours on the New Fork and Green rivers.

Even though the Cheyenne region has experienced its fair share of afternoon thunderstorms, Jim Walter, vice president of Visit Cheyenne, said that out-of-state guests frequently plan a vacation to Wyoming for months in advance, skipping the chance to take a daily forecast into account.

He claimed that only when Interstate 80 or I-25 are closed during the winter does the weather have an impact on tourism in Cheyenne. The fact that the summertime weather might force people indoors is advantageous for Cheyenne museums and other indoor local businesses, he claimed.

Cheyenne was preparing for a huge Frontier Days celebration as late July approached, according to Walter. Sales of tickets increased, and by early July, some performances had sold out.

“Summer tourism is essential for the economy. From Frontier Days alone, there is about a $40 million impact. When we look at the entire year, it is a $425 million economic impact to our community,” Walter said.

The COVID-19 epidemic caused a decline in tourism that hurt the economy of Cheyenne and many other areas of the country in 2020. According to Walter, the weather in 2023 has not yet had a discernible effect.
“We need that money. It goes to local governments, it affects fifth- and sixth-penny (sales tax) funding, it affects a lot,” Walter said.

According to Linda Veress, public affairs officer to the park superintendent, tourists visiting Yellowstone National Park should prepare for a range of weather conditions.The park typically has chilly nights, and higher elevations may experience temperatures below freezing far into the summer.

According to the nonprofit Yellowstone Forever, afternoon thunderstorms are frequent, and the record high temperature for the park was 99 degrees in Mammoth Hot Springs in 2002.

The park hosted 454,929 recreation visits in May 2023, a 13% decline from May 2022, according to data provided in mid-June.The busiest May ever in Yellowstone National Park occurred during that month one year ago.The number of visitors in May 2018 increased by 5% when compared to May 2019, which the park utilized as a benchmark month due to factors like the COVID-19 epidemic and flooding in 2022 that distorted data.

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