Tourist spending continues to boost Gallatin County economy

Posted at 2:26 PM, Jun 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-04 17:59:05-04

BOZEMAN, Mont. – With summer on the way, Gallatin County will soon have many more people in it as tourists travel to the Treasure State.

Tourism is among one of the top industries in Montana and even though local residents may look at having more people on the roads, in restaurants, and around town as an inconvenience, they make a big contribution to the economy year round.

“Last year, the Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) released some statistics that identified Gallatin County as receiving $650 million in non-resident tourist spending, so that’s quite an enormous number — the largest in the state if I’m not mistaken,” said Brit Fontenot, economic development director for the City of Bozeman.

And there’s no end in sight for visitors coming to Gallatin County.

According to the University of Montana’s 2018 Economic report, visitation to Montana has grown by 25 percent since the 2008 recession and that number will continue to grow.

These tourists are essential to the local economy.

“A lot of our businesses depend upon these several months of summer in order to get their high volume in and meet their margins and meet their goals for the year,” Fontenot said.

He added that even though Bozeman doesn’t have a local option tax, like Big Sky and West Yellowstone, the city does have a significant amount of money being spent at hotels, restaurants and outdoor recreational activities.

Reporting by Emma Hamilton for MTN News