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Glacier park shutdown hurts local business

By Kevin Lessard, KCFW Reporter, klessard@kcfw.com
Published On: Oct 08 2013 07:08:21 PM MDT
Updated On: Oct 08 2013 08:54:59 PM MDT
KALISPELL, Mont. -

The federal government shutdown is reaching farther than just Washington, D.C., as national parks like Glacier were forced to close.

Visitors at the park may be seeing the effects inside of the park, but businesses outside of the park are beginning to feel the economic pinch that it's caused.

"We’re a bit disappointed because we're a really small business and we work really hard," said Victoria Lee, owner of Great Northern Resort in West Glacier. "This year was meant to be our good fall for business."

For the first time in six years, Going-to-the-Sun Road was supposed to be open from the west side of the park.  That would have brought more visitors. But last week, the park dropped the gates and closed the road. What was supposed to be good, fell flat.

"It's a little bit irritating," Lee said.

Guests started canceling. That meant refunds, and for a small business, that put a pinch on their cash flow.

"I would say we probably lost about $2,000 to $4,000 which doesn't sound like a lot but we're a really small business so it's quite a chunk for us."

The Great Northern Resort will close on October 15. With no end in sight to the shutdown, the Lees can cross off their hopes for a better fall.

"We know it's a short season but we're a bit disappointed that we weren't able to finish the way we hoped to."