Fee Increases Could Impact Local Economy
Written by Andrew-Rossi on December 21, 2017
Proposed fee increases at National Parks could negatively impact visitation and cost gateway communities millions of dollars.
That’s according to researchers at the University of Montana, who predict that the proposed fee increases from $30 to $70 per vehicle at Yellowstone National Park would drive down visitation and cause gateway communities to lose millions of dollars worth of business from tourists.
National Park Service officials have proposed raising the entrance fee at 17 popular national parks to help deal with billions of dollars worth of maintenance projects that have been put on hold. In Yellowstone, Park Service leaders want to raise the cost of a seven-day vehicle pass from $30 to $70 from May through September.
The Powell Tribune reports that researchers at the University of Montana’s Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research say the proposal would drive down Yellowstone visits by 1.2 percent; based off 2016 visitation, that would translate to about 45,800 fewer people visiting the park.
That drop in visitation could lead to a 0.6 percent drop in tourism spending in the Greater Yellowstone area, meaning a loss of $3.4 million.