Local business owners excited about shutdown ending - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Local business owners excited about shutdown ending

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Nearby businesses are excited about the possibility of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area reopening in the near future. (FOX5) Nearby businesses are excited about the possibility of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area reopening in the near future. (FOX5)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

Buzz about the government shutdown ending has some local business owners hoping National Parks and Recreation Areas like Lake Mead and Red Rock reopen soon.

Business owners who depend on places like Lake Mead, Red Rock, Zion Canyon, and Bryce Canyon say the shutdown hurt profits during their busiest time of year. Even if the shutdown ends and those areas reopen, they say that's money they can't earn back.

Two weeks after boaters paraded down the Las Vegas Strip, protesting the shutdown closing Lake Mead, business at Boulder Boats is picking up according to store owner, Stuart Litjens. It's just not in the way he had hoped.

He says although boaters at Lake Mead can't enjoy an afternoon sailing, they still have to pay to store their boats in the water. That's why more clients have been asking him to sell their boats during what should be the lake's peak visiting season.

"If this were to continue another month, they're potentially paying $400 or $500 to keep their boat at the lake and not use it," Litjens said, "Just this morning, we pulled another one out this morning and they should be out using their boats last weekend, this weekend, and for the month to come."

Litjens estimates the shutdown has already cost him several hundred thousand dollars in boat sales.

On the strip, it's also busy season for tour sales, which is good news for booking agents like Paul Ferlazzo.

The shutdown closed a part of the Grand Canyon, which meant Ferlazzo couldn't sell his most popular tour to the South Rim. He says tour sales increased a little last Saturday after Arizona's government paid to reopen the canyon temporarily, but business is not what it should be.

"There are still people out there who think the canyon is closed. I got some of those questions today," Ferlazzo said.

He and Litjens say these past few weeks have weakened their faith in the government, but they hope to see an end to the shutdown soon.

"It would be nice if this could end permanently, so we can get back to normal. The other months of the year (business) isn't as busy as it is now," said Ferlazzo.

"We're excited there's light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully they get their act together and pass the budget tonight, but does it deserve celebration? No. None of this should have happened," said Litjens.

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    Government shutdown

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