I don’t know about you, but I can always tell what time of year it is here in Cody without even looking at the calendar. Colorful lights means Christmas is approaching. The first day I see that huge car with the loudspeakers bolted on the roof and longhorns attached to the hood means the start of June and the Cody Nite Rodeo. Dan Miller walking down the street in a cupid outfit must mean that it’s Valentine’s Day.
Okay, I made that last one up. But I can hope…
If it’s late in February, it must mean that I have just gotten home from the Wyoming Governor’s Conference on Tourism. We all know that Wyoming is a big state, and I am reminded of our glorious open spaces, soaring mountain ranges and stunning beauty when I make my annual drive to our state capital of Cheyenne every year for the conference.
I lived in the big city where there are more people crammed into 10 square miles than we have in our whole state of almost 100,000 square miles (97,818 to be exact), and I am reminded of one of the main reasons I came home and resettled in my hometown when I drive I-25 and the backroads. The stress just melts away when I am on the road.
Over the years I have made many friends at the tourism conference, and my counterparts from other towns and attractions in Wyoming share ideas, experiences and stories accumulated over the past year.
We are always cautiously optimistic about the upcoming summer tourist season. Even in uncertain economic times people know we offer great vacation values and experiences.
This year our national parks will be in the news because the National Park Service turns 100 August 25. Since Wyoming has tremendous NPS sites, including the World’s First National Park and the World’s First National Monument, we expect people to take a road trip to see Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, Devils Tower National Monument, Fort Laramie National Historic Site and more.
Those people will end up in the various terrific towns across the state where my tourism friends and I will be glad to direct them to the best restaurants, hotels, campgrounds, dude ranches and attractions in the area.
I feel energized after this year’s conference – just like I do every year – and I am eager to meet new travelers and teach them about the town of Cody, the state of Wyoming and our many great attractions.
Until next week, I am lovin’ life in Cody, Wyo.