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Restaurants around some of our National Parks are doing better than last year

UTAH — It’s no secret the hospitality industry was not only hit hard by the coronavirus, but it’s struggling to recover.  However, new data shows some restaurants and lodging facilities around our national parks are bouncing back.

The report from small business app maker Womply took information from credit and debit card receipts from 1500 businesses near the country’s most popular national parks. 

For the week of August 10th, 2020 — Bryce Canyon, Arches, and Zion National Parks all saw an increase of revenue from the same time period last year.

Brad Plothow, Vice-President of corporate marketing and communications for Womply, said that statistic is even more surprising given Utah had a record year for tourism dollars in 2019.

But, it isn’t just the small business around Utah’s national parks which appear to be recovering.  Most restaurants and some lodging facilities around Crater Lake, Glacier, Yellowstone National Parks and others also saw increased revenues in August.

Plothow said, “since many people cannot go on cruises or travel overseas, they’re looking to their own backyards for recreation.” 

And while many are opting to buy or rent RV’s for safety reason, a lot of those people still don’t want to cook.  “That’s why restaurants are seeing a greater increase in profits than hotels or bed & breakfast locations.” stated Plothow.

Arches National Park is one of the few parks to see an increase in lodging revenues from last year.  Facilities there saw a 24% increase in business than the same week in August of 2019.  And restaurant receipts increased 35%.

“This is very good news because small businesses operate on very slim margins.  However,” Plothow warns, “if travel restrictions are put in place again, all bets are off.”

We need to compare these numbers to how food and hotels are faring across non-tourists spots across Utah, said Plothow.

Overall, restaurant sales are down 5% and lodging revenues decreased 15% from the week of August 10, 2019.