Stores in Gettysburg feel impact of government shutdown

An empty street in downtown Gettysburg…

“You’re the first person that’s been in here today…” said Karen Shaw, wardrobe consultant at the women's clothing store, Rosie's Collection.

Shaw says it’s been that way all month long.

“We normally at least see people walking up and down the street, and we’re not seeing anybody,” said Shaw.

She says some of their customers are tourists, but many are locals.

Locals, she says, who may be feeling the impacts of the government shutdown.

“My boss was sitting there thinking, some of the ladies who like to spend money, their husbands are federal employees. So if they’re not getting any money in, the wives are not allowed to go out shopping,” said Shaw.

And while locals may be feeling the impact of the shutdown, employees at the Gettysburg Foundation just up the road are doing what they can to make sure the tourists don’t.

“We take care of all the comfort stations, which are the restrooms and stations throughout the national park, which there are two of them open during the winter. Our staff takes care of that and any trash that’s at these two locations,” said Brian Shaffer, vice president of facilities at the Gettysburg Foundation.

Shaffer explains they have been able to keep the National Military Park Museum and Visitor’s Center open since they are not government owned.

The National Park Service, however, is government run and not currently operating.

But, he says they do have emergency maintenance on call in case of any electrical, plumbing, or snow issues, like we saw this weekend.

“They will plow if deemed necessary for safety reasons to do that. But the majority of the time, they will close the roads until they can reopen them up when they’re safe,” said Shaffer.

So while the effects of the shutdown many not be obvious to tourists, Teddi Joyce, communications director for the Gettysburg Foundation, says they are still felt.

“While we may own and operate the building, it is very much a partnership with the park. And so we don’t have rangers in the building. When visitors come in, there’s no one at the information desk from the National Park Service to greet them, to talk to them,” said Joyce.

If you are considering coming to Gettysburg, there is still plenty to do that is not affected by the shut down.

The Visitor's Center, film, cyclorama painting, and museum are all still running, and the park is open too.

People just need to enter at their own risk.

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