Informational services are the most important services provided by Yellowstone National Park, according to a survey of park visitors.
Results of the $7,000 survey conducted for the National Park Service by University of Idaho researchers show that most of the 846 people responding to the survey in June 1987 felt informational and directional signs and general park information were extremely important or very important services.However, on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being extremely important, ranger-led walks and lectures, boating facilities and store numbers and variety were not considered very important.
The survey also showed that most visitors felt the quality of all services was generally good.
The survey revealed that 90 percent of the visitors felt information and directional signs were extremely important or very important and 80 percent felt the quality of such signs was very good or good.
Following in importance was general park information, which 41 percent felt was extremely important and 39 percent rated as very important. The quality of such information also received high marks, with 83 percent saying the quality was good or very good.
Roads and driving conditions were also important to the visitors, with 78 percent saying road pullouts and turnarounds were extremely or very important and 76 percent rating driving conditions as extremely or very important.
However, only 12 percent indicated they felt driving conditions in the park were very good. Another 30 percent rated driving conditions as good, but most, 36 percent, said conditions were only average.
The study had been commissioned as a way for Yellowstone officials to determine travel patterns before embarking on a massive road rehabilitation project.
In the area of ranger-led walks and lectures, most, 28 percent, felt the service was only moderately important, 22 percent said it was somewhat important and 25 percent said the service was not important.
However, most of those surveyed, 74 percent, also said the service was very good or good.
A large majority, meanwhile, appeared not to be worried about boating facilities in the park, with 72 percent saying the facilities are not important and only 10 percent saying the facilities are moderately important.
However, 40 percent said the facilities were of good quality and 38 percent said the quality was average, while 18 percent said the quality of boating facilities was very good.
Only 4 percent of those surveyed felt the number and variety of stores in the park is extremely important, while 37 percent said the issue is only moderately important and 32 percent rated it as somewhat important.
But 44 percent rated store numbers and variety as good, while 27 percent said the quality was average and 26 percent said it was very good.