The Ottumwa Courier

AP National

October 4, 2013

Shutdown ruins vacations, hurts local economies

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Stop at a cafe in the remote stretches of northern Arizona and southern Utah in the fall, and you're likely to hear a mix of languages as tourists from around the world step into the iconic western landscape, marked by breathtaking canyons and massive rock formations.

Millions of visitors tour the region each year for what can be once-in-a-lifetime vacations.

Those visitors didn't stop with the government shutdown, which forced officials to close down roads, campgrounds and tourist centers at national parks dotting the landscape.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has offered to use state money to keep the Grand Canyon open, and several businesses made similar pledges — all of which have been politely rejected by the national park.

The impact isn't just ruining vacations. It also has brought local economies to a near standstill.

THUMBS DOWN

Outside Yellowstone's north entrance, two men on a bus with Indian and Chinese passengers frown and give the thumbs down sign after seeing the park is shut down. A family of Japanese tourists leaves the Grand Canyon in tears. An English couple and a Belgium couple touring national parks out West settles for a drive around Yosemite without being able to put their feet on the ground.

"Looks as though both sides are having a bit of a childish tantrum," says Englishman Neil Stanton.

Songyi Cho, on a separate trip to Yosemite, says: "This is crazy. How can a whole government shut down?"

While some international tourists kept tabs on American politics in the days before they ventured to national parks, others were blindsided.

Alan Platt and his wife, Leana, first heard about a possible shutdown while at the Grand Canyon on Monday. Platt guessed that lawmakers would be pushed to the brink but pass a budget by the deadline. He was wrong, and the couple was forced to cut their three-day Grand Canyon stay short.

Text Only
AP National
  • Social Security's $300M IT project doesn't work WASHINGTON (AP) — The Social Security Administration has spent nearly $300 million on a new computer system to handle disability claims, but the agency can't get it to work. And officials can't say when it will. Six years ago, Social Security embarke

    July 24, 2014

  • JFK returns to old look in new collectors' coins WEST POINT, N.Y. (AP) — President John F. Kennedy is getting his old look back on new collectors' coins. The slain president's profile debuted on the half dollar 50 years ago, and the image was subtly tweaked and sharpened in the 1990s. Now the U.S.

    July 24, 2014

  • FAA lifts ban on US flights to Tel Aviv airport WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Aviation Administration has lifted its ban on U.S. flights in and out of Israel. The end of the ban, which the agency had imposed out of concern for the risk of planes being hit by Hamas rockets, was effective at 11:45 p

    July 24, 2014

  • Man run over by own truck during road rage GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A man in Florida apparently got a dose of road rage karma when police say he was run over by his own pickup truck after getting out to bang on another driver's window. It happened Tuesday evening in Gainesville, Florida. The

    July 24, 2014

  • New Jersey sues over Florida pizza shop logo TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The New Jersey Turnpike Authority wants a Florida pizza shop to pay a big toll for using a logo similar to the Garden State Parkway's green and yellow signs. The agency sued Jersey Boardwalk Pizza Tuesday in federal court over th

    July 24, 2014

  • US economy, though sluggish, may now be sturdier WASHINGTON (AP) — Out of a seemingly hollow recovery from the Great Recession, a more durable if still slow-growing U.S. economy has emerged. That conclusion, one held by a growing number of economists, might surprise many people. After all, in the f

    July 23, 2014

  • Judges in health care rulings vote party line WASHINGTON (AP) — In rapid succession, six federal judges on two appeals courts weighed in on a key component of President Barack Obama's health care law. Their votes lined up precisely with the party of the president who appointed them. It was the l

    July 23, 2014

  • House, Senate chart separate courses on border WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats and House Republicans are moving separately to slash President Barack Obama's $3.7 billion emergency spending request for the southern border, but they're unlikely to end up with a deal that could pass both chambers

    July 23, 2014

  • 10 Things to Know for Today Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today: 1. THE FINAL DAYS AND HOURS OF FLIGHT 17'S PASSENGERS The Boeing 777 traveling from Amsterdam to Malaysia held the promise of beginnings and endin

    July 23, 2014

  • Agents get subsidized 'Obamacare' using fake IDs WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress will hear testimony Wednesday detailing how undercover investigators used fake identities to get taxpayer-subsidized health insurance under President Barack Obama's law. The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office says

    July 23, 2014

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National