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Yellowstone Closure Frustrates Tourists

Visitors are still arriving at the park gates, despite the government shutdown.
(KCWY) People who traveled from around the world to see Yellowstone National Park are
finding the gates closed and locked thanks to the government shutdown.

"We planned an extra three days to see Yellowstone National Park, but now we're standing here and they shut it down, so it's unbelievable," says Belgian tourist Clark Owmneganck.

He's visited Yellowstone once before and wanted to bring his friend who had never seen it.

"It's the most amazing thing I've ever seen, the park," Owmneganck says.

It's not just Yellowstone visitors and employees affected by the government shutdown.

Nearby lodges are also shutdown, and, since the Shoshone Forest adjacent to the park is also a federal agency, it's campgrounds are closed.

"We've heard from people who are literally from dozens of countries, people from throughout the U.S. who have traveled this far and are frustrated and in some cases irritated that they can't get into Yellowstone," says Scott Balyo, director of the Cody Country Chamber of Commerce.

He says many local businesses are losing money.

"I think all of our members are looking at their staffing levels, the projected amount of revenue they're going to have for October and part of November," he adds.

Park County Wyoming covers a big part of Yellowstone.

Sales and lodging tax revenues come from as far away as the park's headquarters in Mammoth.

While the county treasurer won't get a tax report from the state until next month, he says last year's October income was nearly $800,000 dollars.

That total will certainly be much lower this year thanks to the shutdown.
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