Shutdown Ends, Glacier National Park Reopens - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Shutdown Ends, Glacier National Park Reopens


This morning national park employees returned to work, since the end of the government shutdown means Glacier National Park is back in business.

After nearly three weeks, the gates at Glacier National Park are finally reopened to the Going to the Sun Road. However, some businesses in West Glacier say they will not soon forget the scars left behind by this shutdown.

"The reality is I'm going to plan for it, for the possibility this winter. I mean, it's our slow time, but I am going to--I'm not going to forget," said Monica Jungster.

When ABC FOX Montana's Parker Collins last spoke with the owner of the Montana House in Apgar Village, Monica Jungster, during the days of the shutdown, sales were slumping. Now her business is bustling, just a few hours after the park reopened--falling only 11% below revenue made last October.

"I was a little surprised at how uplifting and how much it meant to drive across the bridge," said Jungster, "not to see the barricade."

The morning of October 17 all 250 furloughed workers returned to the Park, and the Going to the Sun Road is opened up to Big Bend until Sunday, October 20. In just sixteen days, the Park has lost close to $4.9 million that would have been brought in by more than 96,000 visitors, according to the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees.

As happy as many are to be back, there is still some anxiety about what happens next.

"It was the unknown," said Park spokeswoman, Denise Germann, "When we left on October 1, we didn't know if the shutdown and the furlough was for a couple days, a couple weeks, or a couple months."

Congress's current agreement only restores budget authority until January 15 at current spending levels.

It also includes back pay for furloughed employees.

After that, more action and new budget negotiations will be necessary.

Germann predicts that at the very least, there will be less federal funding in the future. One hope is universal, though.

"The first thing I think is boy I hope they don't do this again," said Jungster.

According to Germann, approximately two feet of snow is the reason access has been blocked up at Logan Pass.

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