WYOMING — Here are the final reports from various state level departments on the impact from an influx of recent visitors for the eclipse.
The Wyoming Highway Patrol reports that the event saw the highest traffic density in the state’s history and the Wyoming Office of Tourism reports that the state will reap the benefits of so many visitors who are likely to return in the future. WYDOT reports traffic counts exceeding the norm by hundreds of thousands of vehicles.
- Traffic counts: Updated Wyoming traffic counts for Monday, August 21, showed an increase of more than 550,000 vehicles compared to a five-year average for the same timeframe, according to information shared by WYDOT on this morning’s call. In addition, traffic counts increased by more than 244,000 vehicles on Tuesday; Sunday saw an additional 217,000 vehicles; Saturday showed an increase of more than 131,000 vehicles; Friday saw an increase of 74,000 vehicles; Thursday had an additional 45,000 vehicles; and Wednesday saw an additional 30,000 vehicles. Please note these are raw numbers and the increases don’t consider vehicles that pass the same spot multiple times per day. The traffic counts also don’t reflect all traffic movements in the state, as all roads don’t have counters.
“Eclipse tourists are the friendliest bunch we’ve ever dealt with,” – Doug McGee, public affairs specialist for WYDOT.
- Tourism impact: Wyoming welcomed an incredible influx of visitors from around the country and the world to the Cowboy State to view this year’s total solar eclipse. Both anecdotal and hard data showed that many visitors came to Wyoming early and planned on staying after the eclipse to explore our wide-open spaces, natural wonders, and destinations. The Wyoming Office of Tourism is conducting an economic impact study on the eclipse and will be releasing findings from that study in October.
“This event was a unifying experience across the state. To see all of Wyoming come together to welcome visitors and celebrate this event was simply amazing.” – Diane Shober, executive director of the Wyoming Office of Tourism.
“The eclipse was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for thousands of visitors to Wyoming State Parks. An overwhelming number of people said they would return and spend more time exploring the state.” – Lori Hogan, marketing and development manager for Wyoming State Parks & Cultural Resources.
Calls for Service with Wyoming Highway Patrol: The Wyoming Highway Patrol had 1,813 events in a 24-hour period on Monday, which included 100 crashes, 325 motorist assists, and 111 traffic complaints, as compared to 609 events and 25 crashes on Tuesday. For the amount of traffic that was in the state, the number of events was extremely low thanks to most travelers being patient, adhering to traffic laws and slow speeds.
“This was the highest density of traffic that Wyoming has ever seen. With this high amount of traffic, we were really pleased with the shockingly low volume of traffic incidents and were impressed that the majority of travelers displayed patience throughout the whole event.” – Sergeant Kyle McKay, public relations and recruitment for the Wyoming Highway Patrol.