North Dakota tourism up

Published: Jul. 24, 2019 at 6:34 PM CDT
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North Dakota's travel and tourism season is on track to beat last year's numbers, even with weather delays to many popular destinations.

Last year, more than 1.3 million visitors took in North Dakota's state parks and events, according to the Parks and Rec. This year, that number is expected to jump.

"Last year, we're up 11,000 from prior years. So, we're trending up at this point, even with some of the rainy weekends we've had. People are still enjoying the opportunities they have," said Ryan Gardner, Parks and Rec western regional manager.

Campgrounds are also seeing a spike, with 30% of campers coming from out of state.

But campgrounds and historical sites aren't the only ones enjoying an increase, The Medora Musical is on track to top last year's attendance as well. So far, over 55,000 people have watched the musical, on pace for over 120,000 before year's end.

"The last five to six years have really been some of our best years of all time. Things go up and down, but this year's attendance is right on track and slightly ahead of last year, and those are good signs," said Justin Fisk, Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation marketer.

Medora was also off to a slow start, after a problem with third party ticket sellers ramping up prices. That problem, they said, was taken care of early on with only a few victims needing to be compensated.

The Medora Musical's record year was in 2015 when over 124,000 people attended. This year, they're expected to only be 4,000 short of that.