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National Park shutdown impacts Jackson Hole

National Park shutdown impacts Jackson Hole

JACKSON, Wyo. - Yellowstone and Grand Teton are among the National Parks closed due to the government shutdown, and it may impact Jackson Hole's economy.

Jeff Roush's store Wyoming Outfitters is full of tourists like usual, but it's unclear how much longer that will last with the two parks closed. He said a shutdown of a few days, even a week could actually improve business as people exit the parks.

"They may come into town and shop, and spend their money here instead of the park," said Roush.

He said if the shutdown nears seven to 10 days, business could change.

"People have a chance to start canceling their airfares, start changing their plans, booking hotel rooms in different places, and that's going to affect us."

This morning the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce had to move quickly to accommodate the valley's visitors. The Jackson Hole Visitors Center is in a government building now shut down, so the Chamber created a makeshift information booth in the Home Ranch Center.

Rick Howe, the chamber's director of Visitor Services saw steady interest from tourists throughout the afternoon.

"We felt like it was our responsibility at the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce to do whatever we could do for the visitors who were impacted by these shutdowns," said Rick Howe.

At the Cache Creek Lodge, William Bryant says the motel is fortunate the shutdown happened in between seasons.

"It's probably best for everybody that it's happening on a sort of off-month, as opposed to one of our peak moments," said Bryant.

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