No Kevin Costner? No problem. Alberta’s Yellowstone attracting fans of hit show

Officials for the Summer Village of Yellowstone, AB say they have seen an increase in the number of tourists stopping and taking photos with the village sign thanks to the popular drama series ‘Yellowstone’.

It’s not home to John and Beth Dutton or Rip Wheeler. There’s no Dutton Ranch or even a proposed casino.

But in the summer village of Yellowstone, just outside of Gunn, Alta. – less than an hour’s drive from Edmonton – officials say they’ve had a lot more visitors.

And it’s all because of the hit show “Yellowstone” – now midway through its fifth season.

“We’ve had people coming out and getting pictures by the sign here because of this drama series,” said Kim Hanlan, the chief administrative officer of the summer village of Yellowstone.

The summer village is one of 51 in Alberta. It’s home to 131 residents, with about half of them living there year-round.

Sign for summer village of Yellowstone, northwest of Alberta. (Adrienne South, CityNews)

People have taken an increased interest in the village as the Kevin Costner drama has grown in popularity.

“It’s kind of neat to have a little recognition for Yellowstone and some of the smaller communities in and around the lake,” said Paul Hanlan, the village’s development officer.

The fans, it seems, come from outside – and within.

“We do have residents here who are avid fans and I spoke with one this morning who said they’re looking to get a Yellowstone flag to hang,” said Kim. “So it’s just consistent. There’s just always something. It’s not just the sign, it’s just always that association. It’s kind of put Yellowstone, the summer village of Yellowstone, on the map.”

So much so that the village’s council of three is looking to perhaps have even more fun with the sign, with money set aside in the 2024 budget to update it.

“I’m thinking maybe we can put something on there with a cowboy hat,” Kim said. “Or maybe a little slogan that might say ‘Yellowstone, your home by the lake when you want to escape the drama.’ But it’s up to council and we’ll see what council choses to do.

WATCH: “Yellowstone” trailer

Much of the first seasons of “Yellowstone” was filmed in Utah.

And while there are train tracks that run near Alberta’s Yellowstone, there’s no “train station” – a popular reference in the show.

“We’ve been joking inside and outside of the village that we should put a facade on our municipal chambers as a train station,” Kim said.

“I think you’ve got to be careful associating too closely with the Duttons,” added Paul.

Yellowstone is not the only place in Alberta having fun with its name. Kim Hanlan said she’s been getting fun ideas from officials in a town southeast of Calgary.

“I just recently, at the Alberta Municipalities, met the mayor of the town of Vulcan,” she said. “And they’re a really fun group and they do wear Star Trek uniforms. And I was thinking it would be great if Yellowstone council maybe wore our cowboy hats as a signature municipal identity or to council meetings.”

While Costner sightings are highly unlikely – though many visitors ask about him – the summer village of Yellowstone continues to make the most of its name while wrangling in more visitors.

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