Breckenridge, Colorado

Study Shows Economic Opportunity with More Access to Lower Yellowstone River

As highlighted in a recent article in the Billings Gazette, an economic analysis study prepared by Jeremy Sage, RRC Associates’ Director of Tourism and Visitor Research, found that more access along the lower Yellowstone River could generate an additional $5.3 million in local spending and create greater than 50 new local jobs. The study, titled “Recreation on the Lower Yellowstone River: An Economic Opportunity,”  was paid for by the Lower Yellowstone Coalition, Wild Montana, Business for Montana’s Outdoors, and the Montana State Parks Foundation.

Due to the study’s results, the Yellowstone Coalition is trying to acquire land along the lower Yellowstone River to increase public access and, in turn, increase southeastern Montana’s tourism economy. Money has been funded and earmarked to acquire four sites along the lower Yellowstone River. Without these new access points, there will be gaps between boat launches and campgrounds on the river. Southeast Montana tourism would be boosted by encouraging the ever-increasing popularity of water recreation, fishing, and other activities to that area and having access points created to it through the acquisition of the various sites along the river.

With increased access to the lower Yellowstone River, some of the tourists to Yellowstone County and areas such as Billings could be encouraged to visit the lower Yellowstone River, and hence, into the rural areas and smaller towns. The area’s beauty and natural amenities will also continue to draw people who want to relocate since technology allows them to work remotely.

RRC Associates conducts economic analysis studies and National Park research across the US.

Billings Gazette Article


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