UM study: Paramount’s ‘Yellowstone’ series generates 2.1M visitors, $750M in spending for Montana

UM News Service

Paramount Network’s “Yellowstone,” TV’s most popular series, has sparked the interest of a worldwide audience, bringing an estimated 2.1 million visitors and $730 million in spending to Montana in 2021, according to a new University of Montana study.

Conducted by UM’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research and UM’s Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research, the study found that the TV show has been a significant factor in marketing Montana. Centered on the fictional Dutton family ranch, “Yellowstone” is largely filmed in Darby, Hamilton, Missoula and the Bitterroot Valley, and it treated more than 12 million viewers to the scenery of Montana during its season-five premiere.

Historic ghost towns, unique geology, and much more — Montana has much to offer under its big blue skies.

A 2022 study conducted by BBER found “Yellowstone” contributed significantly to the state’s economy, but when the more recent study was extended to include the impact of visitor spending, these effects changed dramatically, according to Patrick Barkey, director of BBER.

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“Extending our previous analysis to include the impacts of tourism spending was eye-opening,” Barkey said.

The study found that

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