by Bev Llorente, ABS-CBN North America Bureau
October 3, 2013
LAS VEGAS – National parks are among the most affected in the US government shut down. In 1996, when the government last shut down, national parks across the country were also closed down.
Seventeen years later, barricades and closure signs highlight the entrances to inform tourists and visitors of the closure.
The Lake Mead National Recreation Area is a favorite tourist destination especially for Pinoy cyclists who are en-route to Las Vegas from the southeast. An estimated 14,500 visitors are being lost every day as it continues to be closed.
“Those recreational areas are well-known routes here especially for bikers even for runners and walkers,” said Paul Malig, of Shifters Pinoy Cycling Group.
Websites for the Lake Mead National area were also down. Hoover Dam, however, will continue to be open to the public amid the government shutdown.
Meanwhile, although the Red Rock National Conservation area remains a closed gate, curious on-lookers continue to stop for a photo op.
Macki Arbizo, a Pinoy cyclist and an outdoor enthusiast, said that the US government shutdown is a disappointing experience especially for an athlete in training.
“Sa amin mga cyclistang kase iniikutan namin ang Red Rock eh kabibili ko lang nung Sunday nung pass and bigla nilang klinose so I think it’s unfair,” said Arbizo.
The government shutdown does not only affect the recreation area, but it also stripped local businesses and other revenue generating establishments in the area.
“They tour them around mga national park and afterwards I get a bunch of tourists and then Red Rock is also 2nd of best climbing mecca of the world so nawalan tayo ng mga climbers from all over the world,” said Dax Timbol.
All national parks across the country will remain closed until Congress approves its budget.
The Red Rock Canyon is one of the most visited national parks in the United States. But thewith the government shut down, it is uncertain