Cody to plow East Entrance to Yellowstone

2013-03-21T19:16:00Z 2013-03-26T15:20:03Z Cody to plow East Entrance to YellowstoneGazette Staff The Billings Gazette

Yellowstone gateway community members of Cody will plow ahead with their effort to clear Yellowstone National Park’s East Entrance on its traditional opening day of May 3.

The National Park Service postponed the start of spring plowing by two weeks this year to save money amid federal budget cuts. Plowing was supposed to begin March 4.

A two-week delay would have cost Cody an estimated $2 million in tourism-related revenue and taxes, according to the National Park Service. In those first two weeks, more than 11,000 travelers enter the park through the East Gate.

When the Cody Country Chamber of Commerce heard the announcement that the park wouldn’t open until May 17, it agreed to match donations up to $50,000 from its reserve account for the plowing of the East Entrance, about 50 miles west of Cody.

Cody businesses and community members rallied and raised $50,000 in five days, according to a Cody Country Chamber of Commerce media release.

The Chamber received more than 60 contributions ranging from $10 to $10,000.

"I can't think of a better illustration of the independent, determined spirit that embodies this town of 10,000 people," Scott Balyo, executive director of the Chamber, said in the release.

The funds will be used to pay for state of Wyoming equipment and crews.

For more information, call the Park County Travel Council at 800-393-2639.

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