Yellowstone Preparing Gateway Concessionaires for Possible May Opening

Written by on May 1, 2020

Businesses operating in Yellowstone are making summer reservations as they normally would.

 While Xanterra has said they won’t open any of their concessionaires until June 15th at the earliest, that doesn’t mean that Yellowstone won’t be opening until that point. Sunny Burns, the owner of Cody Wyoming Adventures, says that during a conference call with other Yellowstone concessionaires and Yellowstone Superintendent Cam Sholly, she and other business owners were encouraged to move forward with their summer reservations. It was suggested that the park’s opening could come as early as mid-May.

There was no date given but the opening will proceed as planned, in a three phased approach. Phase One of the 2020 Yellowstone opening has yet to be officially planned out, but it would likely mean the roads and major attractions of Yellowstone would be open to visitors. No restaurants, no gift shops, and limited gas station access. Cody and the other gateway communities will get at least a week’s notice before this happens.

This would increase the reliance on and responsibility of the gateway entrances, as they will be the main supplier and lifeline of Yellowstone, especially considering how limited ranger and park staff will be. That means maintaining social distancing and continuing to wear masks and limit direct contact, in and out of the park. If these safety standards are not followed – and if gateway communities do not adopt an increased stewardship of the park – it could lead to a second shutdown. That would be longer and potentially much more devastating for our communities.

Yellowstone National Park has yet to commit to any dates or even a vague idea of when they will reopen to the public, as they hoping for unanimous approval from all gateway communities and their health officers before starting the season.

But it seems signs are on the horizon.


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