Stormwatch

Government shutdown could effect area tourism

Local - 9/30/2013 6:26 PM by Joe Hellriegel
LANSING - Government officials have until midnight to come to an agreement or there will be major effects on tourism and the park services in our area if there is a government shutdown.

The government shutdown deadline is drawing near and its having local officials worried for several reasons.

[CG :2-Line Lower Third\Robin Snyder\National Parks Service]
"If we do have a shutdown, if there is no resolution tonight by midnight, the plan is that we will have everyone come in tomorrow for a 4 hour period that they can work and completely shutdown and all the employees in the park will be furloughed," said Robin Snyder with The National parks Service.

That's just over 100 seasonal and permanent employees that are losing their jobs until further notice.

If the shutdown happens it will take place at 12 a.m and places like Canyon Rim visitor center's doors won't be open.

Canyon Rim, Thurmond, Grandview and Sandstone Visitors centers will all be shutdown along with campgrounds in the area.

"For visitors, October represents our second busiest of the month of the year next to the month of July so we have pretty high visitation during that time frame," said Snyder.

The tourism industry is a big part of West Virginia economy and October is known to bring in crowds.

"I think generally it's going to hit the public and I hope they let their politicians know in Washington as well as here in West Virginia and focus on cutting the debt and whether that's cutting their salaries to make things better here I don't know, but government needs to wake up," said Sharon Cruikshank with the Convention & Visitors Bureau.

While all this is looming in Washington Snyder says they are optimistic about the situation but prepared to take action.

"You know we remain hopeful that a resolution that will be met tonight but it will certainly impact visitors to the area, again fall, Gauley season, other special activities and events and it's a big draw here at the Gorge."



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