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Utah Travel Headlines

Friday, April 08, 2011

Budget Deal Averts Federal Shutdown That Would Have Impacted Parks

Update: Last Minute Budget Deal Reached to Avert Shutdown

At this writing, there is a last minute budget deal in the works and everyone hopes it will go through, averting a federal government shutdown. We are optimistic.

Since Utah the federal government runs Utah’s national parks and many other popular tourist destinations, a shutdown could have profound impact here. We think it is good to be prepared for any possible outcome.

Sadly, there are few hard answers. People tell us the impact will depend on the length of the shutdown, and that is unknown. Most people think a shutdown, if it comes, will be short and will not have great impact.

KSL has this extensive report describing what might happen under a shutdown.

The Salt Lake Tribune has this headline: S. Utah resort towns fear ‘disaster’ in shutdown

Below are excerpts from the Trib article:

At Zion, spokesman David Eaker said a park closure could furlough 150 workers, though a skeleton staff would remain. Campers would have to leave the park. Shuttle service would stop. About 8,500 visitors a day would be allowed — only to travel on State Route 9, which runs between the two park entrances. Zion’s lost revenue could hit $35,000 a day.

Cook, who manages Zion Park Inn, said even if a closure lasted only a few days, it could take weeks to get visitation back on track. This is the beginning of the busy season, when tourists book up to 95 percent of the rooms.

(Dean) Cook said customers began calling at his 120-room motel Friday to cancel reservations. “Along with rising gas prices, [Washington] doesn’t understand what this does to us guys.”

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