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2012 Brings Strong Park Visitation

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The National Park Service Visitor Use Statistics Office has posted the statistics for December, and consequently the entire year indicating the number of people who were in Yellowstone National Park for either recreation or business.  According to their report the park saw a slight increase during the month with 18,472 recreational visits and 47,463 non-recreational trips which include those driving Highway 191 on the western boundary of the park in Montana.  For the year as a whole, Spokesman Al Nash says the park chalked up 3,447,727 visits for the second highest visitation in Yellowstone’s history.  The biggest year, Nash says, was 2010 when visitation was 3.64-million.   Nash says there have been over 3-million visitations a year in Yellowstone every year since 2007.  Considering this has included some very challenging economic times for most Americans, that seems fairly impressive.  Nash says there are a couple theories as to why visitations have remained strong.  He says the public can visit places like Yellowstone and Grand Teton on their own terms.  They can determine how much they want to spend, how much time they want to commit, and enjoy the value for the cost of a tank of gasoline and the nominal entrance fee to get into the park.  Grand Teton National Park posted a total recreational visitation of 2-million-705-thousand in 2012 which surpassed 2011 by just over 4 ½%, and it saw nearly a 2% increase in recreational visitation during December alone.

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