Two national parks in Utah have the money to re-open during the shutdown, but haven't
In the midst of an ongoing government shutdown, Utah's national parks are facing another problem they don't need.
“We felt the impact of people not coming,” said Gary Howe, a front desk clerk at the Inca Motel in Moab.
Howe says business is down 30 percent over this time last year.
“Without the people, there's just nothing to do — not as much stuff, no money is coming in," Howe said.
But that wasn't supposed to be the case. Canyonlands and Arches National Parks were slated to open Friday. Amy Collins drove all the way from Washington state to find out the hard way that it didn't happen.
“Now, we're just kind of trying to figure out what we're going to do because we're not going to be able to get in, it looks like,” Collins said.
A light dusting of snow and ice kept the two parks closed. There were not enough resources to clear them in time to be opened on Friday.
“We came a long way and, when we'll be able to come back, I'm not sure — so, yeah, it's a bummer,” Collins said.
Howe said many of the people visiting Moab are from another country, and are unaware the parks are closed.
“So, they show up expecting to be able to go places and do stuff, and they can't," Howe said.
Saturday will make the current shutdown the longest in U.S. history.
“It's time to get back to work, a town this small can't take a hit like this for too long,” Howes said.
Canyonlands expects the roads to be clear by Sunday. Arches expects to open the road by midday Saturday.