Glacier shatters June attendance record

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Siyeh
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Re: Glacier shatters June attendance record

Post by Siyeh »

PeteE, thanks for those 2 pictures from September last year - those are very telling!

Both of those look like the Glacier I remember. Even the "full" parking lot picture isn't swamped with circling cars.

It must be a very different perspective, being a local, and seeing what it's like when all the tourist crowds go home...

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Re: Glacier shatters June attendance record

Post by dpratt »

Siyeh wrote:It must be a very different perspective, being a local, and seeing what it's like when all the tourist crowds go home...
Definitely. I know many people breathe a sigh of relief once Labor Day comes and goes, and not just because of crowds in the park. What I never appreciated until I moved here is how much the greater Flathead Valley population swells during the summer months. Wal-Mart in Kalispell looks like an RV park due to folks stocking up for their trip. Hotel availability is scarce and stupid expensive. Heck, the Hampton Inn in Whitefish is charging nearly $300/night this season!

While many locals gripe about the inconvenience, tourism is our primary industry so more people means more dollars pumped into the local economy. Unfortunately that brings additional challenges, such as labor shortages for businesses, especially those like where I work where we're looking for career-minded full time help, not seasonal workers. I won't pontificate about that. :)

Most locals just chalk it up to the price we pay for living and doing business in an area like this.

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Re: Glacier shatters June attendance record

Post by Siyeh »

Egads. $300 / night for a Hampton Inn. How the area has changed...

I can remember when the Kalispell airport was basically just a big hangar. Walk out of an airplane, through one side of the building, and out the front door on the other side. That's if you flew. And driving to Glacier, especially from the east side, after driving all the way across Montana, felt like watching the Continental Divide rise up out of the grasses, the way it must have been many decades ago. No towns, expensive hotels, and seemingly few tourists.

But I know what you mean about the double-edged sword of the economy also needing the tourist trade, and the difficulty in staffing so close to a National Park. As you say, the price to pay...

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Re: Glacier shatters June attendance record

Post by dpratt »

I've been coming here since 1987 when I first visited as an 18 year old (ugh...now I feel old). The area has definitely changed. Kalispell has basically become "Anywhere, USA" and you have to look to the horizon to remember where you are. The first time I flew here was in 1996 before the big airport remodel. I remember loving the airport. It is still awesome compared to the madness of O'Hare and every other major airport, but it is definitely busier than it was. Just like Glacier, it is breaking records year after year.

Yup, $300 for the same Hampton Inn room that would cost half that in other areas. Supply and demand, I suppose.

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Re: Glacier shatters June attendance record

Post by daveparker »

It is nutty around here these days as opposed to when I started visiting and then finally moved here!

:shock:

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Re: Glacier shatters June attendance record

Post by davidwayne »

I'm just wondering why my post advocating a much higher entrance fee or a reservation system to help manage the overcrowding was deleted.

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Re: Glacier shatters June attendance record

Post by daveparker »

If the topic conversation is going to go political, it needs to be in the politics section.

Thank you.

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Re: Glacier shatters June attendance record

Post by PeteE »

While it may look quiet here at 0600 at Logan Pass, things are still crazy.
Campgrounds are full so now people are sleeping on the parking lot :shock:
I don't recall seeing anything like this.
And apparently tempers are getting a little short later in the day.

I was talking to two families at the Hidden Lake overlook who said they almost got into an altercation/confrontation in the parking lot.
Later I jokingly asked one of the rangers patrolling the lot, "You had any fights yet?"
She gave me a sort of wry look and said, "Not today".

Me and Jaybird had the #1 spot. :arrow:
As I was relaxing having a snack, I must have been asked 20 times by the circling "parking lot vultures", "Are you leaving?" 8)

It's a real zoo at Logan after about 0900.
Patience is a virtue, right? 8)

pete :wink:
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Re: Glacier shatters June attendance record

Post by scott-atl »

My friend and son are out there now. Said they got turned around at Many entrance this afternoon. Yikes

here-we-go
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Re: Glacier shatters June attendance record

Post by here-we-go »

The @GlacierNationalPark twitter just posted that Logan Pass parking lot filled this morning at 8:11am. And they included a (!) in the tweet!

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Re: Glacier shatters June attendance record

Post by PeteE »

here-we-go wrote:The @GlacierNationalPark twitter just posted that Logan Pass parking lot filled this morning at 8:11am. And they included a (!) in the tweet!
No surprise to me. Gotta get up early if you want to beat the crowd.
Like I've said before, "Sleep when you get home." 8)

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Re: Glacier shatters June attendance record

Post by dpratt »

Interesting article about park visitation. The focus isn't on Glacier, although it is mentioned.

http://e360.yale.edu/features/greenlock ... onal-parks

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Re: Glacier shatters June attendance record

Post by davidwayne »

That article seems too political. It should be deleted.

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Re: Glacier shatters June attendance record

Post by IndianaTom »

Towards the end of 2013, I started to see advertising for the National Parks System. I imagined with the budget cuts happening to recoup some funding the marketing campaign was put into place. Well it as worked better than anyone can imagine. In preparations for my yearly trips, I pay attention to reservations, campground fill times, and message boards. I've spent the last 2 weeks checking Many Glacier reservations every 15 minutes in the hopes of a cancellation (I got it) My first year in Glacier was 2014. It is amazing how quickly the park has begun to burst at the seams from June, July, and August. I was hoping with the end of the 100 year celebration it would start to slow and May showed some signs of that, but it's now known, more people are trying to fit it in during height of summer. I think something that is underused is our National Forest system. If the USDA to started marketing the forest service it could help with some of the problems the NPS is experiencing.

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Re: Glacier shatters June attendance record

Post by PeteE »

Yes, regarding advertising and promotion, it appears that the Park Service is a victim of its own success.
Social media has no doubt helped. Everyone has a camera these days. Posting pictures and stories of vacations have created more interest.
Political troubles around the world have resulted in more Americans choosing to vacation at home rather than abroad.(Read that in a Seniors article recently)
Rising wealth in some parts of the world has increased foreign tourism here in America. I've seen a large increase in foreign visitation the last 3-4 years in GNP.
It all adds up.
I have a feeling early September may surprise folks with much bigger numbers than in the past.
It will be interesting to see what the September visitation looks like this year.

The Bob Marshall is looking better every year.

pete :wink:
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