The First Family Plans to Visit Two Western National Parks Next Weekend
A White House spokesman said President Barack Obama and his family will visit both parks during a weekend trip that will also include stops in Bozeman, Montana; Grand Junction, Colorado, and Phoenix.
The weekend trip is meant to "highlight" the national park system and "encourage all people…to go to and visit the national parks," White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said. The visits will coincide with the final "fee-free" weekend for parks this summer.
Park supporters hope a trip by the first family to two national parks next week will boost visibility of parks in general.
Details of the trip have not released, but according to the White House press office, the Yellowstone visit will occur on August 15; Grand Canyon is scheduled for August 16.
Such visits are always a mixed blessing for the staff and visitors at the parks involved. There's always the hope that a Presidential visit will raise the level of his appreciation--and therefore support--for the parks, and both employees and visitors who actually get to see the VIPs will remember the event.
The flip side is that the logistics and security arrangements that inevitably accompany any such visits will create a few interruptions in the usual routine. Visitors to both areas on the dates in question should plan to include some flexibility in their travel plans.