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Glacier Park reopens after government shutdown ends

By Rebecca Vogt, KCFW Reporter, rvogt@kcfw.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 09:41:38 AM MST
Updated On: Oct 17 2013 10:02:26 PM MDT
WEST GLACIER, Mont. -

Glacier National Park's Apgar Village looked something like a ghost town on October 1 due to the government shutdown. But on Thursday, folks were able to enjoy fall in the park thanks to a reopening of our nation's parks.

"The owner called me last night, called me early this morning and let me know what was going on. Definitely excited about it," said Matt Carlin.

It was a welcome sight to Carlin as he opened the doors to Eddie's Cafe and Gifts.

"Actually had people waiting at the door this morning," Carlin explained.

Barricades were removed and park employees went back to work.

"I think we're all pleased to be back at work, No. 1," said Denise Germann, "and 2 - to be doing our jobs. We love what we do. We love the resources of Glacier National Park and serving the visitors."

Visitors like Beryl Hunt took time to stroll amongst the falling leaves.

"It's our last day here and it opened. We'd like to go further up on the highway. We're going to head out there, we're hoping the sun comes out," said Hunt.

On the downside, the shutdown put a dent in Eddie's bottom line -- the business is a quarter of where it should be right now in sales. But Carlin is staying positive. He told NBC Montana the gift shop will be able to stay afloat as they head into the wintertime.

"It's going to take some time to get people used to the park being opened back up. We'll get by. We've been here for a long time, so we'll be here for a long time," Carlin said.

Workers were removing barriers and planned to have 29 miles of the Going-to-the-Sun road open from West Glacier to Big Bend as soon rocks could be swept off the roadway.