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Government & Politics

Yellowstone National Park Gateway Community Welcomes Visitors Despite Shutdown

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A partial shutdown of the federal government has left national parks understaffed, including one of Montana’s biggest tourist-attractions: Yellowstone National Park.

The park is a massive revenue generator for the gateway communities, and at least one community is making sure that remains true.

The north entrance is open, and the tour companies, restaurants, and other businesses in Gardiner are running as usual.

According to Julie Oliveri with the park service road crew, park concessioner Xanterra is paying park service personnel to groom the roads in the interior of Yellowstone National Park.

Gardiner Chamber of Commerce executive director Loren Barrett said the parks would usually shut down due to safety concerns.

While the entrance is open, it’s also unmanned. That means entry is free instead of the usual $35 for a week-long pass, which also amounts to a loss of revenue for the park.

Edit 1/04: A story YPR ran on Friday incorrectly said Xanterra is maintaining the roads at Yellowstone National Park. A park service employee clarified that Xanterra is paying the park service road crew to groom the interior roads.