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Rock Springs makes the top 15 small towns to visit

ROCK SPRINGS (WNE) — Rock Springs was named as one of the top 15 best small towns to visit in 2019, according to Smithsonian Magazine.

“It’s an honor to see Rock Springs mentioned in such a respectable publication,” Rock Springs Mayor Tim Kaumo told the Rocket-Miner. “It goes to show how the hard work of our employees and dedicated volunteers are paying off. It’s great to know that people across the nation and around the world have the ability to investigate who we are in Rock Springs and hopefully visit us to experience all we have to offer.”

Smithsonian Magazine received geographical information from Esri, which provides details about everything from resident dance companies and art galleries to the concentration of historic sites in American towns with a population of 25,000 or under. The magazine said the top towns embrace community, reflect hometown pride and have their own unique offerings, according to a Rock Springs Main Street/Urban Renewal Agency press release.

Yellowstone visits in May dip slightly from 2018

CODY (WNE) — While overall spring attendance continues to grow in Yellowstone National Park, the May turnout declined slightly from 2018.

Visitation registered 576,776 through May this year, up 1 percent from 2018.

The May count alone was 434,385, down 2.8 percent from 2018. Last year was the busiest May on record and this marks the third-busiest May in history.

The year-to-date attendance is up 11 percent from 2015. However, it ran behind the 2016 total of 593,755, which was a record-setting year for Yellowstone.

Park officials say the high rate of visitation means those planning vacations “underscores the need to plan a Yellowstone adventure ahead of time.”

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It is recommended visitors check out road conditions on the Park’s website. They should also be warned that there may be driving delays and parking issues in some popular areas.

Jackson Hole Airport named best ‘tiny airport’

JACKSON (WNE) — Fodor’s Travel has dubbed Jackson Hole Airport the best “tiny airport” in the United States, beating out second-place Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport.

“When you arrive, you’ll be greeted by breathtaking views of the Teton Range,” Tuesday’s post on the travel website said. “And when it’s time to go home, you’ll be sent off by the same gorgeous mountainscape, but this time you’ll be taking them in from the gate area while you’re hunkered down in deep, leather chairs and basking in the glow of a roaring fireplace.”

Fodor’s did not specify what constitutes a “tiny airport,” so it’s tough to say how long Teton County’s rapidly growing airport will qualify for the category.

Also on Tuesday, Jackson Hole Airport released its plane traffic numbers for the month of May, and they showed a 58 percent increase in commercial activity over the same month a year before. Year to date, passenger numbers have increased 21 percent over record-breaking 2018.

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