The park recorded 3,267,683 visitors from January through October this year. That was well above the 3,037,557 recorded for the same ten month period in 2008, and 116,340 more than the 3,151,343 visitors recorded for all twelve months of 2007.
Lower fuel prices this summer as compared to summer 2009 is a key reason for the spike in visits; better promotion of the Park via free weekends was also a factor.
October visitation was off compared to a year ago and to record levels, and was the first down month since April. October visitor numbers were down nearly 15 percent — 123,867 in 2009, compared to 145,488 in 2008. Shoulder season visitation can be significantly impacted by weather conditions. After an unseasonably warm and dry September, much of October was cold, wet, and snowy.
All park entrances have recorded an increase in visitors for the year-to-date when compared to 2008.
The West Entrance remains the park’s busiest, with 1,329.231 visitors for the year, up 5 percent from 2008. The Northeast Entrance has reported the highest percentage increase in visitation at 20 percent, with the East Entrance not far behind with a 13.6 percent increase compared to the first ten months of 2008.
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