Government shutdown closes parts of Gettysburg National Military Park

ADAMS COUNTY, GETTYSBURG, Pa. --  Effects of the government shutdown are already being felt in our area.  One of the places impacted is Gettysburg National Military Park.

Visitors can still drive through the battlefield, but some popular attractions and tours are now closed. The shutdown has also put 90 percent of Gettysburg park employees on furlough.

Visitor services at Gettysburg National Military Park are run by the Gettysburg Foundation.

Daniel Bringman, Executive Vice President and CFO of the foundation says with the government shutdown, things were a little different today.

"It`s basically only law enforcement that is here," said Bringman.

Bringman says the information desk, which is typically staffed by National Park Rangers, was closed because many of them are on furlough.

"Because of the government shutdown, that had to be closed today, so the information could not be provided by the rangers," he added.

While they are trying to keep operations as normal as possible, some attractions like the Soldiers National Cemetery are closed and locked.

For some visitors, not being able to visit the cemetery was a surprise.

"We called yesterday and they said that even if shut down, they didn't anticipate any problems," said Joel Seledee, visitor.

"It was unfortunate for visitors, many which come from all across the country and want to see all parts of the battlefield and some of them were disappointed," added Bringman.

Bringman says they had a steady day selling nearly 800 tickets, but could have sold more if other parts of the park would have been open.

"If the government hadn't shutdown, that would have attracted another 200 people that would have been here," said Bringman.

"As a country we can do better, so I hope that we can get the government up an running again and that folks can get back to work as soon as possible," said Jake Cohen, visitor.

"The last government shutdown was in October of 2013 and it lasted two weeks and we're hoping it won't last that long this time," added Bringman.

Other attractions that are closed include the Eisenhower National Historic Site buildings and National Park Ranger Programs.

The Gettysburg Visitor Center will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday to Sunday.

For more information on what is open you can call (717) 338-1243 or visit: gettysburgfoundation.org