OLD FAITHFUL—Liz Adkins saved for four or five months to afford for her family to visit Yellowstone National Park. 

On a breezy, busy August afternoon a few minutes after Old Faithful spouted off, she explained how lunch got packed each morning to save a few bucks. Dinners were being made at the KOA campground in Cody, where Adkins’ family slept at night. There were few excesses during the Grand Rapids, Minnesota family’s long-planned journey to see Yellowstone’s 2.2 million acres, which were set aside “for the benefit and enjoyment of the people” some 152 years ago. 

Adkins did, however, let WyoFile in on one splurge: “We’re planning to go to dinner on the last night,” she said with a chuckle.

Other luxuries, like a Cody hotel room, which started at around $200 a night, were out of reach for the dual-income family of five. Adkins works in the construction industry, and her husband’s paycheck comes from a boating business. Doing what they could to cut costs, the family managed to keep the total tab of their week’s road trip to about $2,000, she said.

Yellowstone National Park tourist Liz Adkins, upper far right, poses with her family on the Old Faithful boardwalk in August 2023. (Mike Koshmrl/WyoFile)

Adkins has company in struggling to pull off what was once seen as an affordable summertime vacation for the middle-class: Road-tripping out West to gaze at bison, gawk at geysers and ogle waterfalls in Yellowstone National Park. There are a host of reasons an impromptu summertime trip has gotten pricier and more difficult to execute. Campgrounds get booked up months in advance. Inflation has generally outpaced wage growth nationally the last couple of years, but the cost of lodging in some gateway communities has risen even faster. 

And Yellowstone often follows suit. In about half its rooms, Yellowstone determines the prices its largest concessionaire, Xanterra, is able to charge based on comparable rooms outside the park. Yellowstone has relinquished price controls in the other half of its rooms, including in iconic lodges like Lake Hotel and Old Faithful Inn. There, prices have climbed at an even faster clip.

Designed by Robert Reamer and built with local material in 1903 and 1904, Old Faithful Inn is considered the largest log building in the world. Pricing is determined by the free market, and room rates can run well over $600 a night during peak summer. (Jesse O’Connor)

In veteran Yellowstone tour guide Jesse O’Connor’s view, the increasing cost of a national park vacation has changed the profile of the typical visitor.

“It appears the national parks are gearing towards the higher end, and they are squeezing out the middle class,” said O’Connor, of Jackson. “The prices of the restaurants are going up, and [so are] the prices of the rooms. It seems everything is being inflated beyond what we’re making in increased wages.” 

O’Connor has felt the pinch personally, and he’s tracked the climbing rates. Every other October since a 1991 honeymoon stay, he’s booked the exact same bathroomless room in the Old Faithful Inn. During the initial stay, the rate was $89. Figuring the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation rate, the room would have climbed to $179 by the time of his last stay in October 2021. He paid $228, a 27% increase over the inflation-adjusted rate.  

“It’s kind of sad. However I’m mostly agreeable with it because I looked at rooms in West Yellowstone,” O’Connor said. “You’re looking at $190 to $290 in West Yellowstone, if you book in advance.” 

What the numbers say

The 120-year-old Old Faithful Inn, built from local logs and milled timber, is the most extreme example of how room rates in Yellowstone have spiked. Until 2018, Yellowstone told Xanterra what it could charge for the one-of-a-kind experience of staying in the historic lodge. That year the park and its Anschutz Corporation-owned concessionaire embarked on a pilot project that let Xanterra charge what the market would bear. 

Turns out people are willing to pay a lot, and prices have skyrocketed: Average daily rates for an Old Faithful Inn room have climbed 55% over the past five years, jumping from $274 to $424, according to data provided by Yellowstone business chief Zach Allely. 

Sometimes the floor price of a stay is higher yet. At the time of publication, Old Faithful room rates for one night on a Friday in late September started at $589. 

The Old Faithful geyser rockets up once again while a small crowd looks on in August 2022. (National Park Service/ Jacob W. Frank)

Allely explained the theory of letting Xanterra set its own prices in places the park has dubbed “non-core” lodging — Old Faithful Inn, Lake Hotel and all of the Canyon lodging — where there are no price caps. 

“You can’t compare the Old Faithful Inn to really anything else in the world,” Allely said. “It would be nice to have people stay in the Old Faithful Inn for $50 a night, but it’s just not realistic.” 

Maintenance costs are extremely high, he said, and Xanterra has to put up its staff because of the isolated location. Plus, the law requires that the business has a “reasonable opportunity” to make a profit on its contract.

Prices have risen more gradually at other price-controlled “core” and free-market “non-core” lodging since the policy change, according to data Allely provided. Core lodges are typically newer and have more reasonable equivalents outside the park.

At price-controlled “core” Grant Village, the average daily rate swelled from $258 to $300, up 15%, from 2018 to 2022. The 2022 average rate at the “comparable” facility to Grant Village outside the park was $243. Over at the “core,” price-controlled Old Faithful Snow Lodge, average daily rates rose 21%, from $256 to $310. There, rates stayed well below the cost of the comparable out-of-park lodge, where average rates reached $411 by 2022. 

Pricing is determined by the free market at Lake Hotel, and room rates can run well over $600 a night during peak summer. (Mike Koshmrl/WyoFile)

The most affordable non-camping stay in Yellowstone was and is at price-controlled Roosevelt Lodge. Average daily rates for a cabin at the Tower Falls-area historic lodge increased 15%, from $107 to $123, over the last five years. Costs lagged well behind comparable cabins, where the average was $201 a night. 

At free-market Lake Hotel, average daily rates went up 20% over the last five years, reaching $400. But on a bustling Thursday in early August, rooms were going for north of $600. That afternoon, Pat Scanlon, 79, was on his way into the 132-year-old hotel, Yellowstone’s oldest, when WyoFile intercepted him. The Arkansas resident worked there 56 years earlier as a twentysomething. His daughter did the same in 1995. 

Patti and Pat Scanlon vacationed in August 2023 at the Lake Hotel, where Pat spent a summer working during his 20s. (Mike Koshmrl/WyoFile)

Lake Hotel visitors seemed “fairly affluent” back in the 1960s, Scanlon said, but the pricing in the modern era had jumped to a level that he found unacceptable. Vacationing with his wife, Patti, Scanlon stayed in a cabin outside the main hotel, and that cost them $440.

“We stayed at a Best Western Premium hotel in Cody last night for $350, so it’s more for a cabin here than it was for a really nice hotel room,” Scanlon said. “They’re pricing people out.” 

Access for all? 

That idea — that historic lodges are way out of reach for ordinary wage-earning Americans — did not sit well with MJ Basilone, who was visiting Yellowstone from Alaska. 

“It’s not fair,” Basilone said. “It’s a national park.” 

Basilone and her partner, Rick Farrell, are both military veterans. The National Park Service, she said, should be run similarly to defense agencies, and bottom lines shouldn’t be prioritized. 

“They’re national parks, and they shouldn’t be run for a profit,” Basilone said. “The government should have a better handle on the pricing of lodging that’s in the park.”   

Alaskans MJ Basilone and Rick Farrell pose for a photo near Tower Junction in Yellowstone National Park in August 2023. (Mike Koshmrl/WyoFile)

Farrell and Basilone spent the night before in Jackson. They forked over $400 for a decent room at the Wyoming Inn of Jackson Hole, and were hit with sticker shock again when they went out to dinner. “$70 for a steak,” Basilone said. The slab of meat didn’t impress, the couple agreed. 

There’s an argument to be made that some accommodations in Yellowstone and the other flagship national parks have always been expensive — and there’s always been ways to still pull off a trip. Tourist interest in Yellowstone, which attracts nearly 5 million visits annually, has risen steadily as the decades have lapsed, which suggests demand is not deterred by increasing costs. 

National Park Service Director Chuck Sams grew up in a middle-class family that visited Yellowstone and the Tetons. Like the Adkins family, they had to save to make it happen. 

“We saved up for years to go to Yellowstone,” Sams said at an early August media event in Grand Teton National Park. “We didn’t stay at the resorts — we couldn’t.”

National parks, Sams said, ought to be accessible to all: “Anybody should be able to come to the park,” he said, “and also see a reflection of themselves in the park.” 

The Park Service has active dialog about affordability with its concessionaires, Sams said. Officials have looked at solutions through contracts, he said, and also at extending seasons to help deal with capacity issues and potentially ease pricing. 

“We’re looking at all of those things,” he said. 

Chuck Sams, director of the National Park Service, speaks at the Granite Canyon trailhead in Grand Teton National Park in August 2023. (Mike Koshmrl/WyoFile)

Yellowstone has a long legacy of attracting and catering to the wealthy while leaving the door open for visitors of more modest means, according to O’Connor, the tour guide. He’s also a “passionate amateur historian” who’s a longtime volunteer with the Jackson Hole Historical Society.

“In the earliest days … there were two ways to see Yellowstone, you could be a dude or a sagebrusher,” O’Connor said. “I hate to say it, but the dudes were rich.” 

Dudes took the train line from Chicago to Gardiner, Montana, he said, and tickets cost a fortune at the time. Sagebrushers, meanwhile, came by horse-drawn wagon and camped in the sage. 

“This is my unexpected optimism: You can still do that,” O’Connor said. “You either camp, stay in a van or you can horsepack or backpack in. That’s the modern-day analogy to the sagebrushers of the 1880s.” 

Doable, but difficult

Yellowstone’s dozen campgrounds contain over 2,000 campsites. Rates vary, but the National Park Service-administered sites go for $20 or $25 a night. Those managed by Xanterra run between $33 and $39 a night. 

While the sites are much more affordable, don’t bank on rounding up the family and camping equipment and heading to Yellowstone on a whim, especially in the summertime. Every last campsite is reservable up to six months in advance in the summer, and oftentimes the entire park is sold out. It’s the same story in Grand Teton.

“It’s clear that because of the increased visitation, it’s probably more challenging for a family to come to Yellowstone,” said Mike Murray, who chairs the executive council for the Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks (formerly the The Coalition of National Park Service Retirees). “You have to plan ahead. You have to have reservations. Decades ago you could show up at the gate and find out which campgrounds had some vacant sites.” 

Over the long arc of its history, Yellowstone National Park has steadily attracted more visitors. (National Park Service)

Murray has worked on and off in Yellowstone for 45 years, both for a paycheck and as a volunteer. His first Park Service job was staffing an entrance station in 1978, and in the mid- to late-1990s he was Yellowstone’s assistant chief ranger. The cost of being a tourist at premiere national parks has gone up in general, he said, and increases in prices and crowding seem to be especially pronounced since the COVID-19 pandemic.

“You’re seeing record visitation numbers at a number of parks across the country,” Murray said. “I think people are still less interested in international travel, and parks have become even-more-popular destinations in many places.” 

For the Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks, affordability is a “concern of sorts,” Murray said. But there are many concerns facing the National Park Service, he said. 

“Parks are chronically underfunded,” he said. “As visitation has picked up, parks have been on the losing end of a 10-year decline in staffing.” 

Superintendents have faced pressure to become “more entrepreneurial” to make up for the declining appropriations. “But there’s also a keen understanding that the more fees are increased, the more it discourages average Americans,” Murray said. 

Fees to access and recreate in Wyoming and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem are going up, but for a typical road-tripping family the $35, seven-day vehicle fee is an inconsequential expense relative to the overall cost of the trip. 

Tourists chat and bison watch in the Tower Falls area in August 2023. (Mike Koshmrl/WyoFile)

That overall trip cost is swinging up because of factors that are outside of the Park Service’s control. On average, a family of three staying three nights in a hotel or short-term rental in Park County spent $2,863 on a trip in 2022, according to the Wyoming Office of Tourism’s Economic Impact of Travel in Wyoming report. The same three-day trip in Teton County cost $3,490 on average.

Xanterra’s general manager for Yellowstone, Mike Keller, said he’s seeing sharp price increases on all sides of the national park. Rates, he said, have become “extremely more volatile and aggressive.” 

“A hotel room in West Yellowstone or Gardiner that used to cost $80 is now going for $300 or $400,” Keller said. “That puts pressure on everything in the region.” 

Xanterra’s rooms inside Yellowstone are not exempted. With inflation, wage growth and the additional costs of operating inside the national park, like meeting sustainability goals, it’s “not feasible” to operate on a $50 a night hotel room, Keller said. 

Asked whether the socioeconomic profile of a typical guest lodging in Yellowstone is trending toward wealthier people, Keller said that was “private information.” 

North Dakotan daughter-father duo Taylor and Ron Fix smile for a snapshot while stopped for road construction in Yellowstone National Park. (Mike Koshmrl/WyoFile)

Keller echoed the aspiration that Yellowstone and the national parks ought to be affordable to all Americans. “Not just the middle class, not just the upper class,” he said. “Everybody should have the opportunity to see their parks.” 

Minot, North Dakota resident Ron Fix had that opportunity this August. The main point of the trip was showing his 10-year-old daughter, Taylor, Yellowstone for the first time.

“We looked in the park [at lodging], and it was absolutely ridiculous,” Fix said. “$670 a night for a hotel, it’s a joke.”

But the Fixes were able to pull it off. They lodged in Cooke City for $135 a night, then spent sunup to sundown touring and hiking Yellowstone — and the trip was successful.

“She’s a hell of a hiker, I’ll tell you,” Ron Fix said. “It was a good time.” 

Correction: The room rate in the headline was changed to match the average rate mentioned in the story. —Ed.

Mike Koshmrl reports on Wyoming's wildlife and natural resources. Prior to joining WyoFile, he spent nearly a decade covering the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem’s wild places and creatures for the Jackson...

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  1. I work in Grand Teton National Park and live in Jackson during the winter. For a long time national parks only paid minimum wage but have finally had to raise wages in order to attract workers. The old attitude was one should be so happy to be in such a setting that money shouldn’t matter but of course it does. However, resort areas are reaching the point where many are being priced out. Many of the lodgings don’t have many amenitiesfor what they charge. I talk to many guests and many have told me they are staying over in Idaho.

  2. Just before going to press, I told Mr Koshmrl my $228 room-without-bath is now up to $239 but he couldn’t get the edit in. The higher average described in article is of all the rooms. But here is how Xanterra is gouging even more: up until this year, members of Yellowstone Forever received 25% reduction of our total bill during closing week – this is no more. When I said you can stay in a van, that is in a formal campground, of course.

  3. I suspect that the greater percentage of the visitors now are no longer Americans but overseas visitors. I’d like to see those percentages broken down. If so, then National parks are no longer catering to Americans. Does anyone know if I am even in the ballpark with this thought?

    1. Prior to Covid, it certainly appeared that more than half of the visitors were International. At this time, while I hear a lot of non English languages on the boardwalks, slightly more than half of the people that I see are domestic. Even so, I cannot see the rangers at the gates weeding out visitors from other countries to Yellowstone National Park.

  4. My how things have changed. I am seventy-six years young and remember traveling to Yellowstone with my grandparents. We kept track of the number of bears we saw and the number was over a hundred. We stayed in a cabin near fishing bridge. We caught trout in Yellowstone Lake from the bank, took them back to the cabin, cooked them and ate them. People fed the bear through open car windows. Other times we fished at Lewis Lake and camped in the campground near there. Each time we went there we would stop and watch Old Faithful which erupted almost always on the hour before the earthquake. We would always stop along the green river at Names Rock where Jim Bridger had scratched his name in rock. My grandfather would tell us he had to see a dog alongside the road which meant he needed to take a pee stop. I don’t remember seeing wolves or grizzlies.

  5. While I understand there are costs to housing staff and maintaining facilities, this has always been true. Maintenance (and increasingly staff lodging costs) continue to be required expenses for accommodations outside the park, too.

    The only thing new here is more profit for a private company with a government concession. It’s hard to see this as anything but Xanterra putting profit above access.

  6. There are just too many people! The National Parks were mostly built in the 1930’s, when the population was much less. They haven’t kept up with the population growth, and never will. There is only a finite amount of places like Yellowstone, and the demand far outstrips the supply.

  7. Private vendors equal unaffordable prices for the average American family. My fear is that our parks will become hooked on high end income campers, catering to their whims with more oversized RV camping sites, leaving the rest of us smaller, more enviro respectful, minimalist campers, outside looking in. It is already happening. I’ve been there when they took out parking spaces to be able to fit more dumpsters in for the families who now bring their whole home with them. Noisy generators, garage trailers with toys and the overwhelming trash they create reduces the parks to tin pan alleys.

  8. Yeah pure Capitalism at is finest. Government won’t help because of the politics. We sure don’t want them involved or it will be construed as socialism. So we contract it out to mega wealthy corporations (for profit) and we then wonder why it happened. Good luck fixing it with our don’t let the feds do their job right wingers mentality.

  9. Thank You, increasingly all public lands are being restricted from use by the general public. I’d wish every campground to have an overflow area to be available to all no matter how many, no one should be turned away from having a place to sleep on lands that belong to all of us. It’s true that public land agencies, FS, BLM, NPS, and USFWS, all need more funding, and they should be, to the point where there are no concessionaires left, especially Recreation.gov.

  10. You can stay in Dubois, which also has campgrounds, do a drive through Yellowstone, stay in Cooke City, drive back through stropping at the places you missed. The only way to beat unfair inflationary tactics is not to succumb . There are fabulous places to see in Wyoming besides Yellowstone and there is Crater of The Moon in Idaho. Resist!

  11. This is a result of shifting costs of government on to the user of government services. Government is seen as a money making enterprise so that the budget for those services is not expanding. Tax cuts and increased spending in waging wars over the world squeezes “non-essential” government services for the people.

  12. Wyoming voters support policies that advance corporate power. If that changes, prices will come down so the average earner can stay a night in Yellowstone National Park.

  13. When I first moved to Wyoming in 1978 we were able to stay in the Old Faithful Inn on the first weekend they were open or the last weekend they were open for only 25$ per night. It felt so special to be there in those days. That deal did last into the mid 1980’s but now those deals are a thing of the past. Lodging sticker shock is real and pervasive.

  14. Why can’t the Park be operated by the Park instead of some corporate money pit? Your right, common people can’t even afford to see this wonderful place. Is this what it’s creators envisioned?

    1. The problem is that operations operated by government entities fall victim to spending cuts, bureaucracy, and kazillions of regulations that drive up costs. There are many examples of National Parks and Historic Sites falling derelict in spite of government’s supposed largess. As some might joke, “do you want your park hotels run by the same bureaucracy that gives you Amtrak and ‘$700 military hammers”?”

      As one example, I am aware of two buildings at one National Historic Site in Pennsylvania that have lacked heat for two years as superintendents await approval of necessary appropriations to replace the antiquated system with a more modern one meeting approved “green” standards. A private concessionaire leasing the buildings could have just called a local company to make emergency repairs in days, then replaced the whole system the following summer.

      In addition, the purported aims and missions of the National Park Service–preservation and protection of the natural beauty and splendor of the parks and their heritage–are, at their heart, in opposition to tourism and promoting visitation. It is also not the job of the NPS and Department of the Interior to compete with private enterprise such as hotels, campgrounds, eateries, tour guides, etc.

  15. Who can still afford a Yellowstone road trip you ask? The liberal elites can. In another generation or two their cunning, manipulation and mostly their patience will pay off for their elitist bunch when Wyoming has finally become their exclusive playground.

    1. I agree. The elites are also buying up real estate. Coming in from California, a lot of them. It has driven the price up to the point that the middle class can no longer visit or live there. Same thing happened in Montana several years ago. It’s outrageous. Hopefully they don’t bring their politics and try to change the political landscape in Wyoming.

      1. I would make a wager that the “elites” moving to Wyoming are not “libs”. So yes I agree, I hope they don’t bring their politics.

    2. Have you done your own research on that? I was just at Yellowstone. And I live in Jackson, Wyoming. I see a lot of Trump bumper stickers and what not. I converse with quite a few friendly and not so friendly people on both sides of the political spectrum. Plenty of retirees that are conservative that visit GTNP and Yellowstone.

    3. Liberal, really.
      It has nothing to do with politics. It has to with how much you make. And the R’s make just as much as the D’s. The average family does not have the ability to make this visit. It is the people who make the high end of the middle class salaries. You know, $250,000 and up

  16. Prices for food, hotels and airfare are extremely high all over America. It is not just in Wyoming or at Yellowstone Park. We have 2 classes of citizens in the USA. The rich and The poor. The middle class is no longer. We must thank our federal government for being corrupt and bloated. “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. From time to time we’ve been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people”. Ronald Reagan said it best. Now we see the mess.

  17. This pricing changed drastically when lodging turned over to private company. It just makes me so disappointed in the entire way this has turned out. No, it is definitely not affordable for middle class people. The Parks were never meant to be self sustainable. The Parks were created for the people to enjoy and be preserved.
    Cannot enjoy at these prices. It is just sad.

    1. When was the lodging *not* run by private companies?
      The Old Faithful Inn was built by/for the Northern Pacific Railroad. The Old Faithful Lodge by/for the Union Pacific. This is true throughout the park, to my knowledge.
      The park service now owns the buildings, but they contract with concessioners to run them and benefit from those contracts (to some degree).

  18. I certainly do not wish to defend many of the rates charged by Xanterra for in-park lodging, but there are avenues to an “affordable” stay in the park in 2024. A basic room in the Old Faithful Inn goes for $239 all 2024. Cabin rooms at Mammoth, Old Faithful, Lake and elsewhere are available for $150 or less a night, and all are available from May to September as I write this. A visit to Yellowstone that allows for overnight lodging in the park does require planning to avoid exorbitant room rates, but it is possible.

    1. We attempted this strategy ourselves over two years ago. We booked nearly eight months in advance, and could only find a stray campsite or two in the park in mid-week by pouncing on cancellations or the lone spot left available, never mind weekends. We had to strategize and plan the entire trip around what little “affordable” lodging was available in Gardiner and Cooke City ($160 or so a night for the most basic rooms) and a remote B&B cabin miles outside of Cody (next to the chicken coop). Oh, sure, we could have stayed in other places if we had been willing to cough up $300-500 a night for suites or the like. The “basic” rooms you suggest, in our experience, are booked as fast as Taylor Swift concert tickets, sold out the second they are available, and that was two years ago. The “planning” you suggest may simply not be feasible for the “average” American.

      1. All rooms I cited in my earlier comment are available for the entirety of the 2024 season, as I write this. Every day from May to October available.

    2. I agree Chris. if you don’t reserve ahead of time you’ll pay more than $400 in a gateway community.

  19. Not only are the prices becoming unattainable for middle class people but also even getting a hotel reservation on the day that reservations open is more than challenging. It appears that bus tour companies are allowed to block large numbers of rooms even before reservations open. In 2017 we brought our family of 10 to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. We worked all day the first day of reservations to book rooms at Old Faithful and the Lake Hotels. We also booked part of the week at Mamoth Hot Springs which was later canceled by YNP because the renovations were not complete. So can your groups be limited enabling more families access?

  20. I received a questionnaire about our park experience. This article, in so many respects, is a near ver batum copy of my responses. The middle class is being squeezed out of the ability to stay in or near the park. We drove 2000 miles and carried and prepared our meals and snacks which saved hundreds of dollars over the 4 day stay. GT and Yellowstone are spectacular gems to be shared and treasured. We shouldn’t have to own “treasure” to be able to experience them.

  21. Great article Mike. Unfortunately it’s just not our National Parks that are becoming unaffordable for average people. Concerts, major sporting events, and just about anything that draws a lot of people have gotten so expensive it’s difficult for most of us to afford those things very often.

  22. Your Democrat Party (Washington DC votes 97% democrat) controlled Federal Government, where decisions are made, are to blame. Destruction of the American dollar creating huge but hidden inflation along with runaway taxation all contribute to the infinite national debt that has created a crushing burden to its citizenry i.e. middle class. Those that HAVE will continue to grow their wealth via the established favorable markets while those who HAVE NOT will forever more spend all they have to just survive. Thank the progressive society for this destruction of the “common man.” AND get used to it.

  23. Uff da!! Some of the responsibility lies with the soaring prices of land and the cost of living in the areas adjacent to Yellowstone. the extremely popular TV shows such as YELLOWSTONE have basically attracted many more people to the mountain west – the TV shows are a Chamber of Commerce’s dream come true – free advertising to attract even more visitors. Recent revelations about the rising cost of living in Bozeman attribute much of the soaring cost of living to the popular TV shows and several more mountain west TV series are in the works. These popular shows are rapidly developing the area with more subdividing in an area with limited private lands. And, the TV shows are in addition to substantial efforts to attract even more visitors such as prioritizing the road improvements over Togwotee Pass and improvements to the Jackson airport. The net result is soaring hotel/motel rates and expensive meals – it all follows suit – the economic tourism push has been too successful and future use of the Yellowstone area will increasingly be limited to the wealthy – fly your Lear jet into Jackson airport.