Posted: Oct 1, 2013 10:44 PM by Judy Slate - MTN News
Tourists from across the nation were turned away on Tuesday at the Yellowstone National Park thanks to the government shutdown that has affected over 370 national parks in the U.S.
But American tourists were not the only ones disappointed with the closure.
Teya David, a visitor from Australia said, "Really upset because I was really excited to see it, because we've been watching Yogi Bear for the past few days."
Teya and her family have come all the way from Australia only to find a ‘closed' sign upon arriving at Yellowstone's North Entrance.
Bernard David said, "We've come sort of all the way through Canada and coming down through to Yellowstone was, yeah, one of the major places we want to see."
The Davids are not alone. A steady stream of people, including tourists from China, were turned away on Tuesday.
Chung, a Chinese tourist said, "Oh yes definitely. It's a holiday in China, a lot of people from China will be visiting national parks in the US."
A visitor from Louisiana, Nancy Landrew said, "Well, I think it's shameful that our elected officials can't agree and come to a decision that's best for the people and not just for themselves."
Tourists are not the only ones upset because of the shutdown. The people who live and work in Gardiner are wondering how the shutdown will affect their bottom line.
Parks Fly Shop owner Richard Parks said, "It's going to kill a big chunk of my October."
Parks has run this fly shop for more than 40 years. He says the season is far enough along that the park closure won't be catastrophic to his business but, "This is sort of when we would put the butter on the bread, that's not going to happen until they get it fixed," he said.
Another local, Frankie Aars of the Yellowstone Gifts & Sweets, agrees with Parks.
"Our season doesn't end in October but with the forced shutdown, everyone's pulling out."
And the family from Australia is having to do just that. Their only option is to turn around and go back.
Despite the shutdown, people living in Cooke City and Silvergate are being allowed to use the park road to get home.
And although most Park Services employees have been furloughed, none of the 1,400 concession workers have been laid off.
The company that runs the concession, Xanterra, says it will re-evaluate their staffing after the weekend.