Government Shutdown

Oct 6, 2013 9:50 PM by Jason Laird - MTN News

Government shutdown leaves Fort Smith a ghost town

FORT SMITH - Montana travel and tourism-based businesses are feeling the effects including Fort Smith as the partial government shutdown continues.

National park and recreational area closures have many travelers opting to cancel plans, and put much anticipated trips on hold.

The reason for plan cancellations is all due to limited or no access to federal recreational areas.

"Everyone wants to go fishing in this weather, and can't", said Bryen Venema with the Bighorn Angler Fly Shop.

Areas like Fort Smith are facing the reality that anticipated income through the month of October will be lower than expected.

The Bighorn river is nearly inaccessible. Two of its main accesses, the After Bay and Three Mile areas, are completely closed down.

Yellowtail Dam didn't manage to escape the closures either as all boat ramps and accesses have been shut down completely.

"We've gotten a lot of calls from people who want to cancel their lodging, their hole drift boat rental trip, so basically we've taken a really big hit. It's really effected us badly," Venema Said.

Business owners around Fort Smith area tell us they are trying to look on the bright side - which is that the shutdown didn't hit during their peak summer months.

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