Shutdown Threatens Yellowstone Businesses and Tourists - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Shutdown Threatens Yellowstone Businesses and Tourists

Posted: Updated:
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK -

Tourism businesses near Yellowstone National Park are getting ready for a government shutdown. Some plan to close their doors for the season and send employees home early. KULR 8's Penny Preston reports people from around the country and the world will be affected.

Busloads of tourists headed into Yellowstone early. Their operators expediting their schedules to get in and out of the Park before it closes. One tour director, who preferred to remain anonymous, said many of his passengers traveled from Australia, flying 24 hours to the U.S. to see Yellowstone. Other's, he said, were fulfilling bucket lists. He said, quote, "Their trip is threatened by people in Washington who aren't doing their jobs."

"If the government shuts down we're going to give it either 24 or 48 hours to see if it opens back up. If not, we'll have to close down," says Angela Coe, Owner of Pahaska Resort, a spot just outside Yellowstone's East gate. She says she had planned to close in mid-October.

"We have about 33 employees right now. Some of them have plane tickets. We're going to have to figure that out. If they're in a bind we're going to have to let them stay here. But we'll be closed and they won't be working."

Yellowstone has five entrances and tourism gateway communities like this one in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho depend on the Park's short summer season, which usually wraps up in early November.

"We're still seeing good visitation and for people who this is a once in a lifetime trip, they've come overseas or they've come from the East Coast, now's the time they're here and they want to be in the Park," says Scott Balyo, Cody Chamber of Commerce Director.

Ironically, Cody area businesses raised $200,000 to clear Yellowstone roads last spring when sequestration threatened to delay the Park opening. He says chamber members are not happy.

"The government has kinda lurched from crises to crises and they're frustrated."

The chamber director says October is normally the slower part of the season, but he says the tourists are still coming.

  • LocalMore>>

  • Montana Make-A-Wish Hosts Missouri Boy

    Montana Make-A-Wish Hosts Missouri Boy

    Thursday, July 31 2014 1:13 AM EDT2014-07-31 05:13:55 GMT
    Make-A-Wish Montana is hosting a Missouri family in Big Timber from July 26 – Aug.1. It's a dream come true for one 8-year-old boy.
    Make-A-Wish Montana is hosting a Missouri family in Big Timber from July 26 – Aug.1. It's a dream come true for one 8-year-old boy.
  • Street Lights Needed

    Street Lights Needed

    Thursday, July 31 2014 12:51 AM EDT2014-07-31 04:51:12 GMT
    Streets that run for several blocks, without a single street light. It is a dark reality many residents throughout the Magic City face when the sun goes down. Leo Robinson lives on Monad Rd., east of 24th Street. He said if street lights were placed on Monad, safety for everyone would improve. Terry Smith, City Traffic Engineer, said the city is more than willing to work with anyone, on any street, which lacks street lights.
    Streets that run for several blocks, without a single street light. It is a dark reality many residents throughout the Magic City face when the sun goes down. Leo Robinson lives on Monad Rd., east of 24th Street. He said if street lights were placed on Monad, safety for everyone would improve. Terry Smith, City Traffic Engineer, said the city is more than willing to work with anyone, on any street, which lacks street lights.
  • Hells Angels in Cody

    Hells Angels in Cody

    Thursday, July 31 2014 12:06 AM EDT2014-07-31 04:06:53 GMT
    Hundreds of Hells Angels are coming to Cody for a national meeting this week. The motorcycle club apparently likes the northwest Wyoming town. They held their world run there in 2006. Police presence is heavy in Cody now.
    Hundreds of Hells Angels are coming to Cody for a national meeting this week. The motorcycle club apparently likes the northwest Wyoming town. They held their world run there in 2006. Police presence is heavy in Cody now.