weather icon Clear

Pahrump businesses benefiting from return of Death Valley tourists

Updated February 23, 2022 - 10:49 am

Death Valley National Park welcomed more than 1.1 million visitors in 2021 — about two-thirds of the park’s highest visitation level, set in 2019, according to park officials.

Winter and spring visitation was close to pre-pandemic levels, park officials said, while January through April 2021 had visitation at 86 percent of record levels.

“Most of the drop in visitation was in the summer,” park officials said.

Visitation from May through September 2021 was only 38 percent of 2019 visitation levels. In a typical year, most of the park’s summer visitors are international travelers.

The return of park visitors is a welcome sign for many business owners in Pahrump, a popular stopover for Death Valley tourists who are on their way to and from Las Vegas.

Proximity to Death Valley is partly why husband and wife, Timothy and Alina Quinata, opened Death Valley Marketplace at 3280 W. Bell Vista Ave. in October 2021.

The marketplace largely caters to tourists and sells postcards, souvenirs, specialty sodas, body products, candy and many locally made products.

“Tourists can get a little representation of what’s available by stopping here,” Timothy Quinata said between helping customers in his store on Tuesday.

The business also offers diaper-changing stations, water-refilling stations and serves as a rest stop for travelers who use Bell Vista Avenue as an access point to Death Valley, Calif.

Business has been steady since the market opened last fall, Quinata said, and likely benefited economically from Death Valley National Park’s busiest November ever in 2021, when 133,130 came through the area.

Quinata said he’s noticing a lot more tourists on their way to Death Valley now that many pandemic restrictions are being lifted. But he’s looking forward to the return of “big buses” coming through with more international tourists.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Balloons are back: Pahrump festival will see a 9th year

The Pahrump Valley Chamber of Commerce’s decision to cancel the 9th Annual Pahrump Balloon Festival earlier this year was a source of much dismay and disappointment for area residents but thanks to the efforts of the Dubin family and Balloons Over Pahrump, the event is now set to make a comeback this fall.

How Pahrump came together to feed veterans at the Rib Extravaganza

Rising to a challenge posed just three days prior to the big event, the Pahrump community came through in a big way for the “Support Our Troops Rib Extravaganza” with combined donations totaling more than $4,000 and hundreds of veterans able to enjoy a hearty lunch at absolutely no cost.

Nye County’s CASA holding Hawaiian vacation raffle

Since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, nonprofits across the country have been hit hard with reduced funding, but the needs those organizations fulfill have certainly not lessened.

Nye County sheriff completes chemotherapy

Nye County Sheriff Sharon Wehrly gave an update on her health following a cancer diagnosis last year.

Pahrump butterfly release a tribute to lives lost

One hundred live butterflies were released during the annual Nathan Adelson Hospice butterfly release at the Calvada Eye this past Sunday.

Officials seek funds for new convention center as part of Pahrump Fairgrounds development

Nye County and the town of Pahrump have been making steady strides in the last few years toward developing the Pahrump Fairgrounds and Tim Sutton, manager for both the town and county, outlined all that has been accomplished at the site and what’s still to come in the future.