Visitors flock to Red Rock Canyon during government shutdown

Visitors flock to Red Rock Canyon during government shutdown

The government shutdown continues.

Here locally, the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is not staffed, which is leading to visitors overcrowding the park.

As soon as you enter the park, you see the "closed" sign on a window booth, with no one inside accepting entrance park fees.

"It's one less tax. I guess you could say we are enjoying it for free," said Dan Loch, a visitor. "They'll figure it out. They should be back to business not too far from the distant future."

Loch, who is visiting all the way from Michigan, doesn't mind the government shutdown for now. He and his family are getting to enjoy the great outdoors for free. The usual $15 car fee to get in is waived since no federal park employees are working.

Carrie and Mike McGuire notice some of the differences at the park because of the government shutdown, like more and more people and a closed visitors center.

"All of the parking spots have been full and I'm assuming people are getting in for free," tourist Mike McGuire said.

The federal park so far seems to be maintained. There was no sign of trash problems at the tourist stops, and the restrooms seemed okay.

"The park is nice," Mike McGuire said. "It's a beautiful park. I haven't had any issues. Nobody has been around to cause any issues. People are doing what they are suppose to do - enjoying it."

Loch feels confident the shutdown will be resolved sooner rather than later.

"It would be nice if both sides could get things worked out but there is a disagreement," he said. "That's the way our political system is set up."

Once the shutdown is resolved, federal employees will be back at this park, along with visitor services and entrance fees.

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