It’s no secret that Yellowstonehas become arguably the most popular TV show in America.
Unfortunately, there’s still no word on when we’ll be getting the second half of season five, after the show was forced to be cut short after Kevin Costner exited the series. It really is sad to see it coming to an end this early, as it is in the prime of its popularity.
Nevertheless, Yellowstone has done a great deal for exposure to the cowboy way of life. And along with that, the show has given the state of Montana a ton of new exposure as well.
According to The Washington Post,a study by the Bureau of Business and Economic Research and the University of Montana’s Institute for Tourism & Recreation Research shows that two million tourists said the show inspired them to visit Montana in 2021. Along with that, this brought in a whopping $730 million to the state.
Lucy Beighle, the communications director for Glacier Country Tourism, told the outlet:
“We definitely have seen an uptick in interest because of Yellowstone. If Montana wasn’t already on the map, and if people have seen Yellowstone, it certainly is now.”
Local business owners, for the most part, see the massive uptick in visitors as good for the state. Tourists are filling up hotels and ranches, and spending money at local businesses.
However, there are a good many locals who believe the show makes ranching look overdramatic, considering the large amounts of violence on the show. Not to mention, the show is filmed in the summer, making tourists unaware of just how cold the state gets in the winter.
There’s also the possibility of over-tourism, which can put a lot of pressure on the environment and infrastructure.
Mark Greeno, a rancher at Nine Quarter Circle Ranch, said:
“The show has given our ranchers a bad name.”
Granted, I think most viewers make the mafia-like connection to the Dutton family, and don’t assume that every rancher in Montana is killing people on the regular.
And while many think it’s good for business, it’s been tough for some longtime residents. According to one report, property values are way up, which means that rent is going up, the cost of living us going up, and for some residents, it’s getting difficult to afford.
Nevertheless, Hillary Folkvord, the co-owner of a motel and restaurant in Bozeman, believes the exposure from the show has been a good thing overall:
“I think the show has been good for us. It shows how beautiful Montana is. We hope to preserve that as stewards. That’s really important to us.”
And now, we just wait for the second half of season five to finally premier.