October 3, 2013
Residents and visitors hang in
there for third day of shutdown
By IRENE NOLAN
all accounts, the third day of the federal government shutdown that has
closed the beaches and other facilities at the Cape Hatteras National
Seashore was uneventful again.
Although all beaches and parking
areas are technically closed to the public, folks continued to park at
many and walk over to the beach. Again, they were apparently not
hassled by the small crew of law enforcement rangers who have not been
Anglers who want to drive their vehicles to the
beach remain the most disappointed, although one motel owner reported
that today he had a cancellation from a woman who came to the seashore
only to visit the lighthouses and hike the natural trails.
owners report slower sales to varying degrees, but so far they are
getting by and hoping the impasse in Washington will end sooner rather
Visitors who have rented cottages for next week have
few choices about coming or not coming. They have contracts that
they are locked into and are paid up.
Dave Dawson, whose family
owns two motels, a restaurant, and a shopping area in Buxton, said he
has not had many cancellations at the Cape Hatteras Motel, which is
located on the oceanfront. He said there have been more at the
Falcon Motel, which is not on the ocean, even though guests have been
assured that they can park at the Cape Hatteras Motel and use that
This year, he said, he has a core group of repeat guests
– mostly anglers who don’t mind fishing from in front of the motel,
even though they have to carry their gear out to the beach.
said sales were down some at the Shipwreck Grill. A service
station owner reported slower sales at the gas pump, and a gallery
operated said business had been very slow all week.
“However, it’s early in the game,” Dawson noted – a sentiment shared by other business owners.
who is also president of the Hatteras Island Business Association, is
concerned that he has taken calls from people who believe that the
entire island is shut down or that the ferries aren’t running.
and Ocracoke islands are not shut down. The beaches are
technically closed, though people who want to find a place by the water
have managed to do so. Also closed are lighthouses, visitor centers,
campgrounds, and some concessions.
Shops, restaurants, and other attractions on both islands remain open.
In addition, the state-operated ferries are running on a regular schedule.
Stevens, the Park Service’s chief law enforcement official who is
serving as incident commander during the shutdown, said no citations
were issued at the seashore yesterday and only one was issued Tuesday
There were only minor incidents of vandalism, he said.
is no sign from Congress that the shutdown will end anytime soon and
little progress has apparently been made in negotiations.
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