Yellowstone National Park Reopens After Shutdown - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Yellowstone National Park Reopens After Shutdown

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YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK -

The Federal Government, including the country's national parks reopened today after the 16-day government shutdown.

The gates at Yellowstone National Park opened at 7 a.m. Thursday. Visitors have made a steady stream into the park since then.

"Oh I guess we got here around noon," said Sandra Epplett.

Epplett visited Yellowstone from Canada.

She said she left Canada hoping the national parks would reopen by the time they got here.

"I'm thrilled we are here," said Epplett. "It is something I've dreamed of. It is something I've dreamed of. I'm a teacher and this is what I used to teach."

Yellowstone National Park spokesman Al Nash said while not many people visit the park this time of year, people were eager to visit Yellowstone.

"Our visitation is fairly light this time of year, but we had people entering the gates within minutes of them opening today," said Nash.

Nash said the park did lose some money during the shutdown.

"We lost some revenue from the entrance fee, campground fees and sales of fishing permits," said Nash.

According to a report from the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees, in the first ten days of the shutdown, Yellowstone and surrounding communities lost about $9.4 million.

That is about three times more than Glacier National Park, which lost about $3 million in the first ten days.

Epplett said after spending a second day in Yellowstone Friday, she and her husband have 16 days to hit more national parks.

"We're hitting Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, and the Grand Canyon and all the places I've ever wanted to see," said Epplett.

Nash said most the roads were open, as well as The Old Faithful Visitor Education Center and the temporary Visitor Center in Mammoth Hot Springs and the Yellowstone General Store in Mammoth Hot Springs. Most other places inside the park are closed.

"There is no place to buy a meal and there are no other gift shops open," said Nash.

Nash said the places that are closed now would have closed in the next week if the government shutdown wouldn't have happened.

You have until November 4 to visit Yellowstone this year. Nash said that's when all the interior park roads close for the winter.

Nash said the road between Tower and Canyon is the only road in the park that is closed, but it normally is around this time because of winter weather.

Even though the park is getting ready to close for the summer season, Yellowstone National Park wants to make sure people know the communities around Yellowstone are open all year long.  Visit the Chamber of Commerce of each community or visit visitmt.com or wyomingtourism.com.

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