Posted: Oct 1, 2013 2:05 PM by Judy Slate and John Sherer
Updated: Oct 1, 2013 2:11 PM
MTN's Judy Slate in Gardiner reports that visitors, including some from Australia and Asia, were turned away at the shuttered gates of Yellowstone National Park today. The federal government shutdown is to blame.
Other visitors, already staying in the park were told they have 48 hours to leave. Slate spoke to business owners in Gardiner who told her that October is an important tourism month to them. Some called the late season rush to see the park before winter the "icing" on their summer business.
Park officials say they expect to see 56,000 people visit the world's first national park this month and many will be turned away while the government shutdown is in effect.
Park spokesman, Al Nash, says more National Park Service employees in Yellowstone will be affected by the shutdown than he was told yesterday. Nash said Monday there were 420 full time equivalent employees who could face furlough. Now he says that number is 689.
Nash says all but 160 of those workers received furlough notices today, or will receive a notice on their next regularly scheduled work day. Once all visitors have left the park, another 45 will also be furloughed, leaving 574 people out of work at the nation's flagship National Park.