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What’s New and Notable in Cody/Yellowstone Country in 2018

CODY, Wyo., Oct. 12, 2017 – From the 100th anniversary of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West to the 50th anniversary of Old Trail Town and Museum of the West, it’s been an eventful year for Cody/Yellowstone Country. And the pattern of notable anniversaries and milestones will continue into 2018 as this northwestern Wyoming region continues to draw increasing numbers of visitors from around the world.

“Cody/Yellowstone was built on the big dreams of legendary leaders who helped create a destination that inspires, educates and fascinates more than one million visitors annually,” said Claudia Wade, director of the Park County Travel Council, the marketing arm of the destination. “By tracking milestones and anniversaries of the region, we can better appreciate the quirks, legends and traditions that have made Yellowstone Country a world-renowned destination.”

What’s New and Notable in 2018:

  • 135th anniversary of the first Wild West Show. Buffalo Bill staged the first Wild West Show in Omaha, Neb. on May 19, 1883. With a proven knack for production and promotion, Cody persuaded top talents such as Annie Oakley to perform, and the show prospered. During 1899, for example, Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show was performed 341 times in 132 cities in 200 days. With tours throughout the U.S. and Europe, Buffalo Bill Cody became the most famous man in the world. A declining interest before World War I – due to popularity of motion pictures and sports as well as a general worldwide unease – eventually led to the show’s bankruptcy in 1913.
  • 30th anniversary of fires that impacted one-third of Yellowstone National Park along with large swaths of forest surrounding park borders. The fires – which burned perilously close to
    Firefighters dressed in yellow help fight the fires of 1988

    The Yellowstone fires in 1988 burned close to one third of the park.

    some park structures – were fought by more than 25,000 people, and more than $120 million was spent on the efforts. Rain and snow finally stopped the advance of fires. The Greater Yellowstone fires of 1988 led to permanent changes in firefighting management, and it increased significantly the public’s understanding of fire ecology.

  • 10th anniversary of the delisting of the gray wolf in Wyoming. The story of the wolves in the West is a long one, and each new historic milestone can be traced to ever-evolving political priorities. In a nutshell: wolves were eliminated from Yellowstone Country in the early days of the park.  In 1974, the gray wolf was listed as endangered. In 1995 and 1996, 31 gray wolves from Canada were relocated to Yellowstone, beginning the repopulation of the species in the region. In 2008, wolves were removed from the endangered species list. The following year they were returned to the federal endangered species list due to a legal challenge. In 2012, wolves were again delisted. And in 2014, they were relisted. Currently, Wyoming wolves remain on the
    A barrel rider competing in The Cody Nite Rodeo

    The Cody Nite Rodeo will be celebrating 80 years.

    federal endangered species list.

  • 80th anniversary of the Cody Nite Rodeo. Known as the Rodeo Capital of the World, Cody visitors have been treated to the nightly summer-season spectacle of world-class rodeo since 1938. The first rodeo many visitors have ever experienced, Cody Nite Rodeo is where top rodeo performers demonstrate their skills in horsemanship and roping events like tie-down roping, barrel racing and steer-wrestling. Many events were inspired by the real-life skills Western ranching families needed to thrive on the rugged Wyoming frontier.
  • 20th anniversary of the Cody Ice Festival. Scheduled for Feb. 7 – 11, 2018, the popular festival promises the biggest ice of any ice-climbing festival in North America, with clinics for beginners and experts alike.
  • 25th anniversary of the Buffalo Bill Dam Visitor Center. The Buffalo Bill Dam was the world’s tallest concrete dam when it was completed in 1910, and the visitor center, built in 1993, celebrates this architectural and historic marvel.
  • 100th anniversary of National Park Service management of Yellowstone. The freshly minted National Park Service – a product of the Organic Act signed by President Woodrow Wilson

    – took over park operations from the U.S. Army in 1918.

  • 85th anniversary of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Established in 1933 during the Great Depression with the dual goals of helping unemployed young men and improving and
    A group on climbers making their way through a snoy trail

    The Cody Ice Festival features some of the country’s best climbing.

    protecting public lands, CCC enrollees had to be between 18 and 25 years old, unmarried, unemployed and with a family in need back home. In Wyoming, men improved infrastructure, built lodges and museums, protected wildlife and fought forest fires, including a deadly fire west of Cody in 1937 that killed nine men. CCC is credited with reviving and beautifying Yellowstone Country and ultimately reversing a decline in visitors to the region.

  • 80th anniversary of the Mammoth Post Office. Established in 1938, the park’s elaborate main post office was built in the French Renaissance Modern style using stone from a nearby quarry. Still in operation today, the building was one of more than one thousand post offices built in the 1930s, many of them similarly and intentionally ornamental.
  • 135th anniversary of the opening of the National Hotel in Yellowstone National Park. Situated near the northern entrance to the park, the National Hotel opened for business in August 1883, and it quickly became the popular first stop for visitors arriving via the Northern Pacific Railroad. All but one wing of the hotel was demolished in 1936 and replaced by a lodge with a large lobby and portico and a separate building for a restaurant. That original wing is part of Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel today.
  • 135th anniversary of the construction of the Hole in the Wall Cabin. The hideout of outlaw Butch Cassidy and his Wild Bunch, the two-room Hole in the Wall cabin is one of 26 frontier buildings on display at Cody’s Old Trail Town and Museum of the West.
  • 140th anniversary of River’s Saloon. Also on display at Old Trail Town the River’s Saloon was originally situated near present-day Meeteetse, Wyo. and it was a popular haunt among gold miners, cowboys and outlaws alike. Bullet holes that can still be seen in the door are a testament to the rough times on the Wyoming frontier. It is the oldest remaining saloon in northwest Wyoming.
  • 70th anniversary of reaching one million Yellowstone visitors in a calendar year. One million visitors traveled to the park in 1948. The park surpassed 4 million visitors in 2016.

Recapping 2017

This year’s milestones included the 100th anniversary of the death of Buffalo Bill Cody; 100th anniversary of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West; 15th anniversary of the Draper Natural History Museum at the Center of the West; 50th anniversary of Old Trail Town and Museum of the Old West; and the 75th anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s signing of Executive Order 9066, which resulted in the incarceration of 14,000 Japanese-Americans at the Heart Mountain Confinement Site near Cody.


Yellowstone Country is comprised of the towns of Cody, Powell and Meeteetse as well as the valley east of Yellowstone National Park.

The area of Park County called “Cody/Yellowstone Country” was the playground of Buffalo Bill Cody himself. Buffalo Bill founded the town of Cody in 1896, and the entire region was driven and is still heavily influenced by the vision of the Colonel. Today its broad streets, world-class museum Buffalo Bill Center of the West and thriving western culture host nearly 1 million visitors annually.

Related hashtags: #YellowstoneCountry #CodyWyoming #CenteroftheWest #BuffaloBill #Yellowstone #Wyoming

Media contact:

Mesereau Travel Public Relations

(970) 286-2751

[email protected]

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The Civilian Conservation Corps