National Park Visitors Boosting Wyoming Economy

A.P. 4-23,2015

A steady stream of visitors to national parks is helping to offset the recent hit to Wyoming’s economy as a result of low oil prices.

A report released Wednesday by the National Park Service shows that visitors to Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks and Devils Tower National Monument spent close to $1 billion last year.

Meanwhile, the state Economic Analysis Division reports Wyoming’s leisure and hospitality industries added 1,800 jobs over the past year, more than any other sector by far.

The increase offset job losses in minerals extraction. Wyoming’s petroleum industry in particular is losing jobs amid oil prices that are only about half of what they were a year ago.

Yet low oil prices could give Wyoming tourism a fresh boost by keeping gas prices low.