A Look At How The Shutdown Hit Okla. Sites
Sulphur, Okla. relies heavily on the tourism revenue it gets as a result of being attached to the Chickasaw National Wildlife Refuge, which was shut down for the first half of October along with the rest of the country’s national parks and wildlife refuges.
StateImpact, a news effort between various NPR stations in Oklahoma, reported on how the shutdown was hurting local businesses at the time, and now, as The Oklahoman‘s Silas Allen reports, we have a better picture of just how bad the financial pain got.
According to a National Park Service report released this month, gateway communities like Sulphur that sit just outside park entrances nationwide lost a combined $414 million in visitor spending during the 16-day period.
Chickasaw National Recreation Area saw roughly 49% fewer visitors in October compared to October 2012, according to National Park Service data. That drop in visitors cost Sulphur and the surrounding area an estimated $1 million, park superintendent Bruce Noble said.
The shutdown only lasted a couple of weeks, and the data cover the entire month, so it can’t be said with certainty that the shutdown caused all of the drop in attendance. For example, about as many people visited the park in Oct. 2010 as visited in Oct. 2013.
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