Lately, people have been seeing a whole lot more of Montana on popular television shows like Yellowstone. The show, now in its 5th season follows the fictional Dutton Family which has deep roots here in Montana and owns the biggest ranch in the state.

Of course, there are all kinds of drama, fighting, cussing, cheating, and killing, which certainly makes for must-see TV.  The popularity of the show has even resulted in "Yellowstone Ranch" clothing and thousands have headed to Darby to see the Chief Joseph ranch which is featured in the show, plus two very popular spin-offs.

The creators of the show have done an excellent job of highlighting the beauty of Montana.

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While some locals are very vocal about their displeasure with such shows that highlight Montana, it is certainly hard to argue with the numbers. In fact, a recent study from the University of Montana took a look at the impact of  "Yellowstone" and just how much money it's brought to the state. Photo Credit: Cam McLeod
Photo Credit: Cam McLeod

Here's a look at the numbers from the tv series alone.

  • $730.1 million in spending towards the state’s economy.
  • $44.5 million in state tax revenues directed in whole or in part to the general fund.
  • 10,200-plus jobs across a wide spectrum of industries, including both tourism-related and other industries.
  • $376 million in income received by Montana households.
  • roughly $1.1 billion in output, or gross receipts, of Montana business and non-business organizations.
  • 2.1 million visitors to Montana in 2021 whose decision to visit was the result of the show.
  • 3,305 more people were attracted and retained to the state by the increased economic opportunity.
Photo courtesy of Youtube
Photo courtesy of Youtube

So, the "Yellowstone" effect is real.  People are coming here to visit, work, and live because of the show.  That results in money spent on Montana hotels, restaurants, retail shops, grocery stores, and real estate.

We can debate back and forth whether that is a good thing or a bad thing, however, I would be willing to bet that the state government and most local businesses are more than welcoming when it comes to those dollars being spent right here rather than someplace else.

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