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Government shutdown could devastate recreation industry

Government shutdown could devastate recreation industry

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LAKE MEAD, Nev. — If the government shuts down, many of the nation's favorite recreation spots could be locked up and closed.

Among the vacation destinations in jeopardy is Lake Mead. Between 10,000 and 15,000 people set sail each year on the "Desert Princess," a popular park attraction, according to sales manager Earl Jobson. The ride takes park visitors on a Mississippi-style paddle-wheeler cruise.

"We have reservations throughout the rest of the year," Jobson said. "Besides our visitors taking a cruise, we book groups, we do weddings, we have options for charters."

Wherever possible, roads will be closed, and access will be denied.

–National Parks Services

But an impasse with Congress could put a stop to business. According to the Department of the Interior's website, contingency plans are now in place in the event of a government shutdown.

According to the National Park Service: "Wherever possible, roads will be closed, and access will be denied."

It's bad news for Jobson and others who work in the recreation industry.

"Obviously, we have to have the lake to have cruises," he said. "We hope it doesn't happen."

Kirk Dean is watching developments in Washington, D.C., too. He works for Boulder Boats. Dean believes a government shutdown would destroy the livelihoods of many.

"If that happened to our business, it would shut us down," Dean said. "The lake is everything we have."

A park spokesperson said 75 percent of park employees will be furloughed if the shutdown goes through. The economic impact could be devastating: An estimated $675,000 would be lost each day if America's playgrounds are held hostage by Washington.


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