Shutdown hurting tour sales on Las Vegas Strip - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Shutdown hurting tour sales on Las Vegas Strip

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LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

Some Las Vegas visitors are feeling the trickle-down effects of parts of the United States Federal Government shutting down. Closures resulting from the shutdown are forcing some tourists and businesses to change their plans.

The Fanfeen family came to Las Vegas all the way from Holland with plans to see the Grand Canyon's South Rim. When they arrived and tried to book a tour of the area at a booth on the Las Vegas Strip, they learned it was shut down along with the U.S. Government.

"We thought it's nice to do something we've never done before, and now we can't do it thanks to your government," said Joker Fanfeen.

Tour agents like Cindy Heath have to tell disappointed visitors like the Fanfeens that the Grand Canyon was one of more than 400 United States National Parks affected by the shutdown. She says it's the peak season for people to tour the area.

Heath says some tourists were flexible about changing their plans, but others decided not to take any tours once they heard of the closures. Since she works on commission, every bus, helicopter and jeep tour that is canceled is money that isn't going into Heath's pocket. She says she lost more than $1000 after the first day of the shutdown.

"I won't be able to pay my bills. My car might be reposed. It's affecting all of us," said Heath.

"We are on the strip in one of the busiest walk-through areas you can get, and there were a total of five tours booked for everyone," said Paul Ferlazzo, a tour agent who works at a different booth on the strip.

Ferlazzo expects the shutdown to decrease his revenue by 80 percent, because he says the Grand Canyon South Rim is his best-selling tour. The tour books five times the number of visitors compared to visitors that go to the rest of the Grand Canyon.

"This is completely related to the government and their inability to handle things the way they're supposed to," Ferlazzo said.

The Fanfeens said as the shutdown continues, the chances that they would come back to Las Vegas to fulfill their original travel plans shrink.

"It's not nice coming here because we can't see anything," Fanfeen said.

Meanwhile, Pink Jeep, another popular tour company says closures are affecting their business, too. A spokesperson says the company will have to offer alternative options for tours to the Grand Canyon, Zion Canyon, Red Rock Canyon and Death Valley, due to the closure of national parks.

Other attractions like the Hoover Dam and Bonnie Springs are still open to visitors.

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