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Holiday weekend brings travelers to Billings

Holiday weekend brings travelers to Billings
Posted at 5:39 PM, Sep 04, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-04 19:39:05-04

BILLINGS — Nationwide, the number of travelers over Labor Day weekend was estimated to be higher this year than last, with the Transportation Security Administration expected to screen over 14.25 million travelers in airports from Friday to Wednesday.

Visit Billings Executive Director Alex Tyson said that the Labor Day holiday weekend is a traditionally fairly quiet weekend for Billings, but visitors still come. Especially with events such as Burn the Point.

Ron Seckel and his wife traveled to Billings from Oklahoma for the long weekend.

“We love Billings,” Seckel said. “My wife has friends here, so we stopped by to visit friends and celebrate the holidays with them.”

The Seckel's lived in Billings in the 1990s before moving away to be closer to family. So, when they come to town they already have their favorite spots to visit.

“I like the Rimrocks and the mountains. And Red Lodge is close,” he said.

According to AAA, the average gas price nationwide is around $3.80 a gallon, a historical high for the holiday weekend.

The price of gas didn't stop many from hoping in their RVs and spending a few days at the Billings KOA Holiday campground. Janelle and Brad Farren are from California and were using the weekend as an opportunity to learn about a new town on their cross-country road trip.

“The ultimate goal is Maine and official lobster rolls,” Brad said. “This is the first KOA ever. So, we get to touch a piece of history there.”

Ron Yenko grew up in Billings and traveled back to town from Nebraska to spend the weekend visiting his parents and friends. Unlike the Farrens and Seckels, Yenko flew to town.

“The airports are really busy,” Yenko said. “We had a pretty good trip. My flights weren’t canceled or delayed, so that was good.”

According to Tyson, Billings hotels typically average about 75% occupancy over the holiday weekend.