Closure Has Ripple Effect Around Lake Mead - 8 News NOW

Closure Has Ripple Effect Around Lake Mead

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LAKE MEAD, Nev. -- National parks and recreation sites, including Lake Mead, were closed for a second day due to the government shutdown.

Park rangers spent the day on foot and on boats trying to cover 1.5 million acres, informing visitors of the closure. Park rangers say their goal Wednesday was to warn and inform people of the closure.

Every area and facility is closed at Lake Mead, with the exception of the main store at the Lake Mead Marina in Hemenway Harbor, and it is only open for emergency reasons.

For a store that sees more than 15,000 visitors a year, this slow down has really taken a toll on its business.

Store manager Gail Kaiser fielded hundreds of calls Wednesday from people wondering when the lake will reopen.

"We've had reservations that we had to cancel. The restaurant is closed. We've got food that was ordered that we don't know what to do with," Kaiser said.

The usually busy marina was a ghost town, which is frustrating for a group of workers who are used to welcoming their customers not turning them away.

"Aside from walk-in traffic, the long-term traffic is going down very fast," Kaiser said.

Park services has allowed them to stay open in case of an emergency.

"We have to stay open and the maintenance of the marina continues. The wind blows. We cannot just abandon property, and we have to protect customers property," Kaiser added.

The impact of the closure can be felt other places. Scuba Views certifies more than 200 scuba divers a year. October is its busiest month out at Lake Mead, but it had to cancel all dives.

"That is devastating to not only to myself but the scuba community," master scuba dive trainer Bill Duckro, "The closest place we have to go to do certifications is Utah. That is about a two hour drive."

Others are trying to remain optimistic.

"Winter is coming anyways. I'll just take it some place else," boat owner Brian King said.

All visitors must be out of Lake Mead by 3 p.m. Thursday. If not, violators could be fined up to $5,000 or up to six months in jail.

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