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National Parks bring in hundreds of millions of dollars to gateway communities in Montana

National Park Service logo.

Nearly 6 million visitors to national parks spent about $729 million in Montana gateway communities last year, according to estimates released by the National Park Service on June 23. That’s an increase of more than 60% from 2020, when parks saw a slow start to the summer season after the COVID-19 pandemic forced shutdowns.

Visitors spent over one-third of their travel money on lodging, and over 16% on dining. Gateway communities near Yellowstone National Park drew the seventh-highest spending of all parks nationwide, while communities near Glacier National Park drew the eleventh-highest.

Austin graduated from the University of Montana’s journalism program in May 2022. He came to MTPR as an evening newscast intern that summer, and jumped at the chance to join full-time as the station’s morning voice in Fall 2022.

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