Park County, Montana Commissioner Bill Berg told reporters yesterday that damage from the flash flood to Gardiner and the roads leading in and out of the town early this week along with the subsequent closure of Yellowstone will be a pretty big hit because, in his words, “it’s a Yellowstone town and it lives and dies by tourism.”
“Businesses are already trying to sort out what they are going to do with their seasonal staff. They can’t afford to keep them – their business projections area shot. Reservations are being cancelled. Folks are asking for refunds which is understandable. Some businesses may have already have spent that money, so they’re looking to try to figure out how to hold things together because to make a living in Gardiner (which I suspect is true in all the gateway communities), you have to budget pretty hard; you have to make hay while the sun shines; and you have to hang onto your cash over the winter so you can afford to open the doors in the spring.”
In answer to a question from a major regional media outlet asking “how can we help?” Berg responded one way may be to purchase gift certifications which puts money into the businesses immediately while at the same time suggesting a promise of visiting when the area reopens.