Town Asks Elected Officials To End Shut Down, Reopen RMNP
On behalf of the Town of Estes Park, Mayor Bill Pinkham and Town Administrator Frank Lancaster have appealed to federal elected officials to end the federal government shutdown and the closure of Rocky Mountain National Park. This appeal was made in letters sent October 4 to the offices of Senator Michael Bennet, Senator Mark Udall, Congressman Jared Polis, Congressman Cory Gardner, Congressman Mike Coffman, Congressman Scott Tipton, Congressman Ed Perlmutter, Congressman Doug Lamborn, and Congresswoman Diana DeGette.
While Estes Park remains open for business and accessible via the Peak-to-Peak Highway, the closure of the park has a harsh impact on the local economy, as well as approximately 200 National Park Service employees who are also in the midst of recovering from the flood.
The Town’s letter states, “After suffering a major blow to our infrastructure and recovering from the recent floods, the current government shutdown is having a devastating impact on the Town of Estes Park, its citizens, businesses, and visitors.
“As you know, our economy relies heavily on tourism and our proximity to the national park. Attracting visitors after the flood has already become a challenge because access to the Town by Highways 34 and 36 has been cut off. The federal government shutdown has now cut off tourism, and the lifeblood of our economy, causing business closures and increasing unemployment. Our struggling town is now in a dire situation.
“We appreciate your efforts on our behalf and urge you to use your leadership to resolve the spending bill issues and get the federal government restarted as soon as possible.”
Town Administrator Frank Lancaster further explained, “I’ve heard requests for the town, other agencies, and even volunteer groups to reopen the national park during the shutdown.” He continued, “We need Congress to act, because by law, the only way to reopen Rocky Mountain National Park is for the shutdown to end.”