Yellowstone businesses await the return of visitors

Jun 22, 2022, 8:36 PM | Updated: 8:39 pm

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. – When you’ve been around as long as the Historic Madison Hotel just outside of Yellowstone National Park, there is plenty of room for good times and bad.

“We’ve been here since 1912. We are the oldest operating hotel in West Yellowstone,” said owner Garrett Ostler. “You would think we’d be used to this, but natural disasters are natural disasters, and it’s sad for everyone.”

Last week’s flood and damage to Yellowstone is just the latest setback for business owners.

For gateway towns that rely on tourism for their livelihood, having the park closed all week hurt.

“Let me tell you, business in the last eight days has been terrible,” said Ostler.

Cancellation after cancellation, even into September, means more than a hundred thousand dollars in lost revenue for Ostler. He’s just one business.

“It was extremely, extremely, extremely tough,” said Daniel Flores, who owns the Outpost Restaurant in West Yellowstone.

Businesses near Yellowstone National Park.

When the park closed, many people decided to change their vacation plans and not visit West Yellowstone.

“We were all hurting, but we stayed together. We understood, and hey, let’s keep it going,” Flores said.

He’s glad he did because tomorrow Yellowstone National Park is re-opening its southern loop, and West Yellowstone is one of the entrances visitors can access.

“You know, we’re tremendously excited,” Ostler said.

That historic flood is just another chapter in history for a park, its surrounding towns, and a historic hotel that’s been through it all. And ready for more.

“Our calendar is wide open right now because people canceled in a panic,” Ostler said. “Well, other people are scheduling.”

There are rules to manage visitation, with half of the park opening on Wednesday.

Getting in depends on your license plate.

If the last number of your plate is even, you can get in on even-numbered days.

If your plate ends with an odd number, you can get in on odd-numbered days.

Plates with all letters and no numbers fall into the odd-numbered category, and if your plate ends with a letter but has numbers, the last number is what counts.

Those with reservations are allowed in regardless of their license plate number.

Yellowstone license plate system.

You can check out all the details on the license plate plan. 

The park is also planning on opening a section of the Northern Loop in a couple of weeks.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

Mature bird stands with chicks...

Carter Williams, KSL.com

Widowed peregrine falcon cares for 3 chicks on downtown Salt Lake skyscraper

Utah wildlife enthusiasts are hopeful that three peregrine falcon chicks will be able to successfully fledge from a downtown Salt Lake City skyscraper next month after their mother was struck and killed by a car shortly before the tiny birds hatched.

11 hours ago

High and cool waters rushing under a bridge in Little Cottonwood Canyon. (KSL TV)...

Andrew Adams

Hydrologist optimistic about Salt Lake County runoff picture as thunderstorm threat looms

A longtime hydrologist expressed optimism Monday about the potential for the county to avoid any further runoff and flooding issues.

1 day ago

A vial of floodwater from the 1983 flooding in Salt Lake City. (KSL TV)...

Shelby Lofton

Utah historian uncovers artifacts from 1983 floods

A Utah museum curator stumbled across some intriguing artifacts from the 1983 flooding that hit Utah years ago.

1 day ago

The "Miss Moody' character on full display. (KSL TV)...

Peter Rosen

Meet ‘Miss Moody’

A Utah ceramic artist decided to take everything that wasn't funny in her life and turn it into art that she can smile at.

1 day ago

FILE (Provo Police Department/Facebook)...

Michael Houck

Police: Man allegedly breaks into Provo home, claims to be God and assaults residents

A man allegedly walked into a Provo home in his underwear, began throwing objects, claiming he was God, and assaulted a woman Saturday night.  

1 day ago

The aftermath of the small plane crash in Washington County. (Washington County Sherriff's Office)...

Lauren Steinbrecher

First responder recounts ‘bizarre’ southern Utah plane crash where pilot disappeared

The Enterprise Fire and EMS team was left trying to make sense of what happened, recounting how a pilot who crashed a plane refused their help and promptly disappeared from the scene.

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Asian little girl playing arcade game on the computer machines at the shopping mall outlets...

Get Out Pass

Family Fun Activities in Utah You Have to Try This Summer

These family fun activities will entertain you all summer, so if you ever feel stuck in a rut wondering what to do, refer to this guide!

Woman IT specialist in elegant suit working on notebook computer in data center next to server rack...

Les Olson

Your Complete Guide to Outsourcing IT Services

This guide covers everything you need to know about the different benefits of outsourcing IT services to meet your small business needs.

diverse group of friends dance outside under string lights...

Lighting Design

5 Frequently Asked Questions About Outdoor Lighting

Read for the most frequently asked questions about outdoor lighting to help narrow the search for your home.

Stack of old laptops with dark background...

PC Laptops

Old Laptop Upgrades You Need to Try Before Throwing it Away

Get the most out of your investment. Try these old laptop upgrades before throwing it out to keep it running fast and efficient.

Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...

BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.

Close up of an offset printing machine during production...

Les Olson IT

Top 7 Reasons to Add a Production Printer to Your Business

Learn about the different digital production printers and how they can help your company save time and money.

Yellowstone businesses await the return of visitors