CODY (WNE) — The early returns on lodging taxes for Park County this spring could be viewed as depressing.

Instead, understanding a clear-cut reason behind the decline – and knowing things will turn around – helped the Park County Travel Council view matters realistically at its meeting last Thursday.

As the 2019 tourist season was getting underway, whopping differences were reported compared to 2018.

The year-to-date hotel taxes through April were down $40,650, or 27.5 percent.

The monthly total, April versus April, was down 16 percent, or $5,315.

This does not represent a free fall in tourists wishing to visit Cody, Yellowstone National Park, or the rest of Park County for vacations.

This is all about Mammoth Hot Springs hotel inside Yellowstone being closed and in the midst of a massive construction project.

“We knew we would be (down) because of the situation at Mammoth,” said Travel Council marketing director Claudia Wade. “I’m optimistic that we’ll do better.”

Remodeling of the hotel, which was built in 1883, began last September. The National Park Service website declares that rooms should be available for booking again before the end of the summer.

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