The government shutdown is already having a big impact on businesses that serve visitors in rural Utah – and on local governments.
Garfield County depends on tourism for 70-percent of its annual revenue – mostly from visitors to Bryce Canyon National Park. With the park closed, Commissioner Leland Pollock is hoping visitors won’t cancel their trips – and he says the shutdown underscores the conflict with federal authorities over roads across public land.
Pollock tells KUER, “Those folks that oppose us litigating the roads – this is one of the reasons we have those roads in litigation so we can keep ‘em open to the public. This is a classic example of that.”
While Bryce Canyon is closed, Pollock says there’s still plenty to see in Garfield County. Roads across the Grand Staircase National Monument are still open, and State Highway 12 through Escalante and Boulder allows visitors to see spectacular fall colors this time of year.
Pollock says he wishes the President and Congress good luck in resolving the dispute that’s shut down the national parks – but he’s not too confident a solution will be reached any time soon.