Key phrase-- lower quality visitor experience

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Posted by Gracie ( on 20:46:23 05/22/14

In Reply to: Putting lipstick on a pig posted by Ballpark Frank

So very well said. I have spent the last week in Yellowstone and while the visitor numbers weren't summer numbers, they overwhelmed the available services. There seemed to be a disconnect between what the park service was ready to handle and the actual visitors. I was surprised at the volume of tour buses-- those did seem to be summer numbers. Do the tour companies keep the PS apprised of the groups they are bringing in? There was also many many different tour bus operators that I hadn't seen before.

Two of the areas where the PS seemed to struggle was with the number of rangers on the roads, and secondly opening and maintaining rest rooms.

For so early in the season the bad driving behavior was astonishing especially those ignoring common sense and legal passing rules. On big city expressways policeman are often found parked in highly visible spots during rush hours just to slow everyone down and it works. Why can't two rangers be parked at the busiest times going in and out of West Yellowstone to discourage the aggressive drivers? It is a pack mentality, if one or two speed then so many others do as well, just like sometimes you get a group were everyone drives the speed limit and maintains good distance between cars.

The second really visible problem was the lack of open restrooms which caused those that were open to be (to put it delicately) overwhelmed. There was one clean restroom--surprisingly the outhouse at the Lamar junction. The rest were horrific. One of the worst was the Old Faithful Visitor Center. Equally disturbing was the seeming lack of concern about the problem. If these tours are going to bring in big groups when the PS isn't able to provide basic services shouldn't they contribute something to solve the issue or limit the number of tours? While I loved all the animals, and the beautiful Spring landscapes, I really began to see how the park is being overrun in pursuit of the almighty dollar.

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