Some question whether the budget discussion in Washington D.C. could ever affect us here in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country. Well, it can.
One result of the sequestration was the call for national parks to cut their operating budgets this year. Since Park County is named after the world’s first national park and the East Gate is about 50 miles from downtown Cody, we have been watching developments very closely.
Every winter, Yellowstone closes most of its roads to wheeled vehicles and lets the snow pile up. Visitors get around the park in snowcoaches or snowmobiles. In March after the two winter hotels close, the Park Service begins plowing the roads in preparation of the summer season. That means the road from the East Gate up and over Sylvan Pass into the interior of the park has many miles of deep snow that needs to be cleared.
This year, in order to save money, the Park Service decided to delay plowing for a couple of weeks and let the sun do some of the work so that fewer man hours are spent on this job.
Unfortunately for us, even the smallest delay has the potential for visitors to reroute their trips around our little slice of paradise. Since 11,000 people traveled into the park through the East Gate in the first two weeks of the summer season last year, that means a significant effect on our hotels, restaurants, museums, stores and attractions.
But, in typical Wyoming fashion, we here in Cody decided to focus our energies on solving the problem. A couple weeks ago our Chamber of Commerce worked out a deal with the State of Wyoming and the National Park Service for the Wyoming Department of Transportation to supply the plows and drivers to clear the road from our east gate into the park.
What we had to do here in Cody, however, was raise the funds to pay the plow drivers and keep fuel in the plows. So the Cody Chamber of Commerce and other community members stepped up to the plate and raised $100,000 to cover plowing expenses.
Because when it comes to exceptional Western hospitality, awesome outdoor adventures, world-renowned attractions and unparalleled visitor experiences, Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country’s doors (and roads) are always to welcome our visitors.
So plan your getaway to the little town that could. . . and did, Cody, Wyoming!
Until next time, I’m so proud to be living in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country.