According to a press release put out by Governor Mark Gordon, the governor has directed the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) and Wyoming Office of Tourism (WOT) to temporarily reopen nine previously closed rest areas for the 2021 tourist season.

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Gordon said:

"With the summer season just around the corner, I’m glad we will be able to reopen these facilities to travelers. We are glad to have this chance to find a temporary solution."

According to the press release, WYDOT and WOT, along with the Governor's office, will work together to secure a temporary federal funding source to allow the nine rest areas throughout the state to reopen.

Michael Pearlman, Communications Director for the governor's office, said they are unsure at the moment as to where the funding will come from, but they are hopeful that they will be able to get funding from the American Rescue Plan.

WYDOT Director K. Luke Reiner said:

"WYDOT is extremely grateful to Governor Gordon and Director Shober for identifying new federal funds to temporarily reopen our rest areas for the tourist season."

According to the press release, the rest areas were closed in June 2020 due to budget shortfalls as a cost saving measure and should reopen before Memorial Day weekend.

The nine rest areas include:

  • Chugwater on I-25
  • Greybull on US 16
  • Guernsey on US 26
  • Lusk on US 18
  • Moorcroft on I-90
  • Star Valley on US 89
  • Sundance on I-90
  • Orin Jct on I-25
  • Upton on US 16

Diane Shober, executive director of WOT said:

“Each of these nine rest areas are a valuable tourism tool... As travelers are stretching their legs, they are also gathering information on local events, attractions, restaurants, campgrounds and lodging, which all can lead to extended stays and increase visitor spending.”

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