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Burned By Congress: Government Shutdown Latest Blow For Area Affected By Rim Fire

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YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK (CBS13) — While the Rim Fire eases toward containment, businesses around Yosemite National Park will have another potential disaster to contend with—Monday night’s federal government shutdown.

With both sides in Congress unable to reach a deal, national parks like Yosemite will be closing until a deal is reached. Campers have 48 hours to leave the park.

The announcement comes on the 123rd anniversary of the establishment of Yosemite.

This latest blow has Dori Jones, owner of Dori’s Tea Cottage and Cafe, ready to take out an emergency loan to help pay the bills.

“It’s going to be hurtful for our business and everyone’s business here. It’s going to be very devastating,” Jones said.

Flames from the Rim Fire forced Hotel Charlotte guests to cancel a total of 150 room reservations. Rooms are filling up as people head to enjoy the fall months in Yosemite—something they won’t be able to do during the shutdown.

“If we get the cancellations it’s really going to be hard,” said Linda Struhm with Hotel Charlotte. “Especially because we are trying to recover from [the Rim Fire] and we need to do that while the weather is still good hike and visit Yosemite.”

Many businesses missed out on Labor Day weekend earnings, a time when owners say sales triple.

The community hopes to recover now, before it’s too late.

“If the park shuts down now as of midnight tomorrow night, there goes the fall season,” said Carolyn Botell with the Chamber of Commerce.

Some businesses are hopeful that if visitors are forced out of Yosemite, that they’ll take advantage of hotels and attractions offered in gateway cities.

 

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