Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Flagstaff Chamber Reacts to Government Shutdown

Dear Flagstaff Chamber Members,

Your Chamber stands solidly against our recent Government shutdown which, if long lasting, could spread trouble throughout northern Arizona for our tourism and travel industry and other employers.  We urge Congress and the president to come to a deal on the federal budget.

During this government shutdown, non-essential services are unavailable.  For us in northern Arizona, that means a closure of our national parks, including the Grand Canyon National Park, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Petrified Forest National Park, and Montezuma Castle National Monument.

Northern Arizona’s tourism industry is a major contributor to our economy and clearly is not in a position to halt operations or endure for any length of time a loss of customer base.  Visitors to Grand Canyon National Park alone spend more than $1 million each day.  The Grand Canyon supports over 7,300 jobs, and in April, 2011 when the last shutdown was threatened, it was estimated that over $485,000 in park entrance fees alone were at risk.

This morning I did a live interview on KTAR Radio explaining the situation at hand in which I talked about the negative effects of this shutdown.

The uncertainty we are facing today about the length of this shutdown means canceled flights, canceled hotel rooms, canceled reservations with tour operators including the Grand Canyon Railway that is suspended until the park reopens, shuttering of USGS, and more.  This political battle is doing nothing to help our northern Arizona economy that is heavily dependent on tourism and related governmental services.

It is so important for Congress and the president to find a swift resolution to the government shutdown. We recognize that this has implications for all our member businesses and we will proactively monitor it on your behalf and advocate for an end to the shutdown.

Thank you,
Julie Pastrick
Flagstaff Chamber of Commerce 

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