Park County’s Economic Activity Boosted by Eclipse
Written by Andrew-Rossi on December 13, 2017
While the Great American Eclipse lasted only a few minutes in Wyoming, nearly 192,000 people traveled to Wyoming to view the event.
And Park County came in third in the state for visitation, behind Teton and Natrona counties.
Lisa Constantine, Visitor Center Director at the Cody Chamber of Commerce, says she was surprised by the numbers, expecting that other counties in the path of totality would have brought in more visitors. But the report generated by the Wyoming Office of Tourism showed that 69,700 people came through Park County the days surrounding the eclipse, with 63,400 staying overnight, either camping or in local lodging properties.
The Wyoming Office of Tourism had tasked the Cody Visitor Center with conducting visitor surveys August 19th through the 23rd, surrounding the date of the eclipse. Constantine noted that during the actual eclipse, Cody was very quiet – but the surrounding dates showed a steep increase in activity as visitors traveled from the path of totality to other locations in the state.
The report showed that 5400 additional people visited Big Horn County; 6200 in Washakie County, and Hot Springs County showed an additional 8500 visitors during the eclipse. Additionally, spending by each visitor averaged $133 dollars per person per day – which for Park County meant an additional $290,000 in lodging and sales tax income.
The Aug. 21 eclipse was the first total solar eclipse to pass over the whole width of the U.S. since 1918, and Wyoming was one of the few states in the path of totality. The study determined that of the 261,100 people who traveled inside Wyoming for the eclipse, more than 75 percent were from out of state, including 29,000 international travelers.