LAS VEGAS -- National parks like Lake Mead are already bracing for potential federal government shutdown. Thursday, visitors were given a heads up that if federal funding stops on Friday, they will be forced to close. That means 200 park employees without a paycheck.
Like the rest of the country, park officials are closely watching what's happening in Congress right now. If the spending bill isn't passed, people here will feel an immediate impact.
"Our campgrounds would be closed, our park would be closed, anyone who's staying in an RV park or one of our trailer villages or staying at one of our hotels would have 48 hours to leave the park," said Andrew Munoz with the National Park Service.
Even before they pay, visitors were told about what could happen this weekend. Gail Kaiser calls the situation potential disaster. She owns the Las Vegas Boat Harbor and says even if the park closes, her bills will continue and without income, it puts her business at a loss of more than $10,000 a day.
With two restaurants, millions of dollars of boats in the marina and 65 employees, Kaiser says it is essential to stay open during this economy.
"You're already hit hard and to continue to slam us down. We can't handle that kind of stuff. We need to be able to have people come into this park," she said.
The Cass family is visiting from California and while they had a great time feeding ducks today. They're also feeling a lot of anxiety since they are supposed to stay until Sunday. Going to a Las Vegas hotel is an expense that will be difficult to afford.
Boaters are also furious at the potential federal shutdown, and that's what the marina owner worries about. She says even if its closed for a few days, closing would mean bad publicity and many regulars not coming back.
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