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Federal budget battles leave lingering scars on parks, gateway towns

The 16-day shutdown of Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks in October cost an estimated $21.1 million in lost total visitor and recreation spending to the parks and surrounding communities. (Ruffin Prevost/Yellowstone Gate)

In a region hit hard by government spending squabbles that started the tourism season with park budget cuts under Sequestration and ended the season with a 16-day partial government shutdown that closed Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, fears linger that ongoing Congressional dysfunction will again cause chaos for travelers and lost revenue for parks, business owners and workers. Despite recent assurances from Congressional leaders that a shutdown won't happen in January, tourism industry insiders and park managers say the "new normal of governing by crisis" will continue to inflict economic harm on the parks and their gateway communities. Continue Reading →

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