The number of people who visited the iconic Gateway Arch in downtown St. Louis increased by 41% from 2021 to 2022 but still were below pre-pandemic levels.
According to reporting by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the 1.62 million people who visited the Arch last year still was 22% below the levels seen in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic.
The park, which reopened its visitor center and grounds in July 2018 after a massive $380 million overhaul, still has a ways to go. In 2019, it welcomed 2.1 million visitors. In the late 1990s, the park regularly welcomed about 3.5 million visitors a year.
In 2016, 1.2 million visitors came to the Arch — then the lowest number recorded by the National Park Service since 1965, the year the final piece of the monument was put in place. […]
January saw the highest number of tram riders to the top of the Arch in 17 years, park officials said. And they’re looking forward to spring break and summer tourist season.
The Gateway Arch remains a popular and short side trip for many Route 66 travelers.
Because of that, visitations probably will rise as the centennial of Route 66 approaches in 2026.
The 630-foot-tall, stainless steel monument was completed in 1965.
(Image of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis by PaulSh via Flickr)