Its “Hurry Up and Wait” at Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks
Written by Andrew-Rossi on April 23, 2020
Yellowstone has a message for the Cody community – they are hurrying up and waiting.
Earlier this week, Yellowstone Superintendent Cam Sholly and Grand Teton Acting Superintendent Gopaul Noojibail held a conference call with members of the business communities in Cody and Jackson. Governor Gordon also participated for a time. The meeting was to discuss the parks’ reopening and the ripple effects the reopening would have on Wyoming. Cam Sholly stands by his initial statement that he is waiting for a unanimous vote from state health officers and civic leaders in all four adjacent counties to the park – Park and Teton Counties Wyoming and Park and Gallatin Counties Montana – before lifting any closures. The question he poses is simple: when are you ready for an influx of visitors into our communities?
The most likely plan is a conservative phased approach and ramp-up period for opening – certain parts of the park opening before others, such as roads before concessionaires, concessionaries before hotels, et cetera. But there is no speculation on dates at this point. Many are looking eagerly towards Memorial Day, but that ideally won’t be a park decision. Xanterra has already said they won’t resume hotel operations until at least June 15th. And whenever the “reopening” date approaches – whatever that day looks like – all gateways will receive as much notice as possible.
There was one good piece of news for Cody – this closure might lead to one of the most efficient construction seasons in the park’s recent history. The construction of Fishing Bridge will be finished by the end of the 2020 season, meaning that it will no longer affect tourist and vehicle traffic to Cody in 2021.