Wyoming News Service, JACKSON, WY - Memorial Weekend marks the official kick-off to summer, generally, and according to a Deloitte consumer survey, half of the respondents want to get away, at least for an overnight trip.
Yellowstone National Park's busiest season is summer, and while not all roads are open yet, visitors are welcome this weekend.
Craig Mackey with the Outdoor Industry Association is encouraging people to visit a national park this summer to demonstrate how popular they are at a time when budget cuts are threatening operations.
The survey also shows many people plan to stay closer to home because of high gas prices. That sets the stage for more visits to all sorts of public lands in the region, with Mackey pointing out that private entities have been pitching in to support funding for those public spaces.
He says across the country, there have been at least thirty initiatives to protect open space on the ballot, and more than 80% of them have passed.
Mackey's group estimates recreation contributes $730 billion to state and local economies every year across the country. According to the National Park Service, Yellowstone visitors spend an average of $840 per family or individual during a visit.