West Yellowstone Still Open During Government Shutdown - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

West Yellowstone Still Open During Government Shutdown

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WEST YELLOWSTONE -

In day eleven of the government shutdown, some states are footing the bill to reopen national parks.

Governor Bullock said Thursday Montana will not be one of those states.

He encourages the Federal Government to reopen entirely.

And that is affecting the small communities serving Yellowstone National Park's entrances, like West Yellowstone.

"We're here and kind of sticking through it," said Three Bear Lodge general manger Travis Watt. "We've had to lay off some people; we've had to cut back some hours to get through it."

Watt said the seven people he laid off were seasonal positions. Normally they would've kept their jobs till the end of the month.

But he said he had to lay off those workers early because most of their reservations have been canceled since no one is allowed in Yellowstone.

"About 75 percent of our reservations for October have been canceled," said Watt. "It's probably closer to 250 or 300 now."

Some people are still traveling to West Yellowstone in hopes the national park will reopen.

Instead, they are frequenting the West Yellowstone Visitor Center.

"They spend a considerable longer time in here than they might otherwise, they are checking out everything they can do," said Marysue Costello, West Yellowstone Chamber of Commerce executive director. "Many of them come back in several times because they are here several days."

Cindy Keehner traveled to West Yellowstone last weekend from South Carolina and spent the week there.

She said she and her family were able to find some things to do in the region.

"We kind of looked at the map and looked at different things," said Keehner. "We went to see some falls called Mesa Falls because he heard those were open and you could get to them without any trouble."

Watt said since this is the tail end of their tourism season, the shutdown is just speeding up the process.

Governors of New York, Arizona, Utah and Colorado have announced they will reopen national parks in their boundaries.

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