Joined: 24 May 2003
Weekly Avg: 0.3754
Location: Madison, WI
|Posted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 5:51 pm Post subject: National Park Service - We're Back!
||Share topic on FB
|As of yesterday, just about all U.S. national parks were reopened.
This is not only great news for travelers, but even better news for people whose livelihoods depend on small businesses located in or near U.S. national park destinations.
One entire community whose main street consists almost entirely of small businesses like this is the tiny town of Peninsula, OH. This town is surrounded on all sides by Cuyahoga Valley National Park (which I visited this summer just a couple weeks before the shutdown).
It turned into a virtual ghost town overnight. It's businesses remained open, but the tourists had no reason to show up - this during 16 lost business days at the height of the fall color season, the most popular time of year for visitors to the park, many of whom had planned to ride sold out - then cancelled - rail excursions through the park, which stops at Peninsula's historic Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad depot, located right on Main Street.
These business owners are going to have a long hard winter after losing 16 days of "premium" walk-in tourist traffic. Hardly anyone visits this part of the park when its covered in 2 feet of snow.
This is what happened in just one small town inside just one national park. There are communities that serve visitors to over 400 other national park sites that have suffered similar loss of revenue at the height of their Autumn rush season.
My supervisor (as a volunteer for the NPS Twin Cities operation - the Mississippi National River & Recreation Area) told me that he discovered hackers had managed to put a several thousand dollar charge for a bogus purchase on his "company" credit card - and, apparently criminal hacker gangs did the same kind of credit card identity theft by hacking into untended computer networks at thousands of closed Federal offices around the country.
Add that to the $24 billion dollars the government shutdown cost you, me, and everyone else in the U.S.
Racetrack - AKA Dave Katz, Volunteer ("Visitor Experience Specialist")for Mississippi National River & Recreation Area