Zion National Park Attendance Up 35% Despite Winter Weather
A lot of visitors are braving the elements to experience Zion in it’s snow dusted glory.
“We had about a 35 percent increase of people to the park here yesterday (Tuesday) versus last year at this same time," says John Marciano, the public information officer for the park.
That's more than 7000 visitors. Overall, the park has seen an 18 percent increase in attendance from last year, and Marciano has some ideas as to why.
“You know fuel prices are down so you have more people RV-ing, motorhome-ing and camping," says Marciano. "Social media I think plays a big part in it."
There are a handfull of adventure photographers who frequent Zion and other parks like it with Instagram followers in the tens of thousands.
Marciano also credits Utah’s “Mighty 5” campaign and excitement around the National Park’s centennial anniversary.
While these high numbers are exciting for park staff, there is also some strain.
“It’s been a big challenge for us, you know we have the same staffing numbers that have to handle this increasing visitation," says Marciano.
Changes are currently in the works to better manage the over capacity and continue protecting the park’s natural resources.