Yellowstone economic activity was strong in 2013, with tourism surging in Gallatin and Park counties in terms of out-of-state spending and job creation.
Gallatin County encompasses Bozeman and Big Sky, while Park County includes Livingston, Gardiner and Cooke City. Together, the two counties have developed into a major gateway to Yellowstone National Park.
And with Yellowstone attracting huge crowds, Yellowstone economic activity had a definite presence in the two Montana counties, according to a report from the University of Montana’s Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research. From the Bozeman Chronicle:
The University of Montana’s Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research in a report released last week found that Gallatin County led the state in tourist spending, with travelers leaving $667 million in their wake. That figure is a 19 percent increase in spending over the previous year and was directly responsible for nearly 6,500 jobs in the county, the report said.
That economic impact spread throughout the county, indirectly supporting another 2,490 jobs and an additional $272 million of economic activity in Gallatin County, according to the report….
Park County received $203 million from tourists, which supported more than 2,000 jobs.
It could have even been a better year if a U.S. government shutdown closed Yellowstone National Park for 16 days at the end of the summer season.