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Page economy being devastated by shutdown

PHOENIX — The Grand Canyon National Park is getting most of the attention in this government shutdown but the economy in Page, Ariz. is being crushed.

Lynette Davault with the Page Chamber of Commerce said Lake Powell is essentially a ghost lake. Both marinas are closed. They’ve let 500 workers go. No boats are on the lake.

“The rafting and river trips are shut down. All of the fishing guide trips are shut down. It’s affecting hotels, motels and restaurants in this area. You can’t get on the lake. No boats are being put on the lake and you get to the overpass to see the lake because it’s closed too.”

Tourism is the lifeblood for Page and the mom and pop shops were counting on a big October to carry them through the winter. Davault said there’s no other word for what’s happening. It’s devastating.

“One of our river tour companies has lost money for the first time in eight years and it’s due to the shutdown.”

Page is a gateway to the Grand Canyon in Arizona but also to Bryce and Zion National Parks in Utah so it is truly in the crosshairs of the shutdown.

This trouble comes on the heels of a landslide earlier this year that took out a section of U.S. 89 just south of Page. It forced drivers into a lengthy detour to get to Lake Powell before ADOT completed a temporary detour around the damaged roadway.