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Potential Effects of Government Shutdown on National Parks

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Acadia National Park in Maine is experiencing a surge in demand for luxury picnics as part of the wedding season, but this success could be threatened if a government shutdown forces national parks and monuments to close. The closures could cost tourist towns up to $70 million per day and impact millions of vacations and school trips. Business owners and workers in these areas are frustrated and concerned as they have little information on whether or when the shutdown might happen. Some states, like Arizona and Utah, have said they would use state money to keep national parks open if the federal government cannot do so.

Recurrent shutdowns of national parks have become a new kind of disaster for businesses and workers living near them, in addition to natural disasters such as floods, wildfires, and hurricanes. The lack of information from the Department of the Interior, which oversees national parks and monuments, has left business owners and workers unsure of what to expect. They fear losing significant revenue if tourists cancel reservations and head to alternative destinations like Disney World. Some states have expressed their intention to staff and run the parks using state funds if necessary. The price tag for keeping parks open will depend on the length of the shutdown and the specific parks states choose to maintain.

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