Moab is on the tail end of tourist season, but it seems to have ended more early than expected. The government shutdown has forced the closure of National Parks, and it is making business all around the world, and in Moab, hurt badly. Many tourists who had made reservations with Moab lodging were forced to essentially turn around and go home. As there is no word yet on how long the shutdown will last, getting more revenue from tourists seems increasingly unlikely.
A vast majority of businesses rely on revenue from October to help get through the slow winter months, which will be more difficult this year without said revenue. It is possible that some restaurants will have to close earlier than normal, and many hotels may get no business at all until spring comes. Unfortunately, the shutdown also results in a loss of jobs with those working at local restaurants and hotels, and those with government jobs.
Many Moab condo rentals and hotels were asked to give refunds to frustrated tourists, and the locals share in their frustration. Not only are the National Parks blocked to visitors from Europe, but they also block people who have lived here their whole lives. Aside from a loss of money, many love to hike in Arches and other National Parks, and taking that away will make the winter harder to bear.
Thankfully, there are other things to do. Deadhorse point of course offers tourists a beautiful overlook, and the LaSal Mountains have camping and opportunities for scenic drives, even – or perhaps especially – in the winter. Still, there is no doubt that businesses all across the board will hurt from this shutdown, and the citizens can only hope that Congress reaches an agreement soon.
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