Good news in sequestration land:
Residents of the Wyoming towns of Cody and Jackson raised enough money to plow Yellowstone’s south and east entrance roads on schedule, meaning the park’s May opening will happen on time.
Due to across-the-board federal budget cuts known as sequestration, Yellowstone’s management had decided to delay plowing for two weeks in order to save $250,000. The towns, popular launching points for visitors to Yellowstone, stood to lose far more than the price of plowing.
According to the director of Cody's Chamber of Commerce, the same two weeks last year saw 11,000 visitors passing through the nearby East Gate, spending an estimated $2 million, reported the Yellowstone Gate.
The town of 10,000 people raised $100,000, including $50,000 from the Chamber of Commerce, to cover the cost of the federal government’s shortfall. Jackson raised over $70,000, which came, in part, from a 2 percent lodging tax.
The East Gate will open May 3 and the South Gate on May 10.