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Colorado Bails Out the Federal Government?

Remember the Overlook? Stanleyhotel.com

Remember the Overlook? Stanleyhotel.com

It looks like a beautiful Saturday here in Southwest Colorado. I think we’ll be visiting the pumpkin patch today and putting out our Halloween decorations. The mountains that we can see from our house have a nice coating of snow from a storm over the last couple of days, and that’s always pretty to look at. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of mountain views.

Speaking of mountains, I found it interesting that the state of Colorado shelled out $362,000 to the federal government this week to reopen Rocky Mountain National Park for ten days. The governor vows to keep it open until the US government shutdown is over. Several other states followed suit, essentially bailing out the federal government to open popular tourist attractions.

Fall is a  huge tourist time in Colorado because of the fall color, and it’s elk bugling season!  The little town that borders Rocky Mountain National Park is called Estes Park. You may be familiar with Estes Park because it is home to the Stanley Hotel, which played the part of the Overlook Hotel where Jack Nicholson lost his marbles in The Shining.

I’ve been to Estes Park, and it’s a great town. It was also hit hard by the recent floods in Colorado. Two days after the park reopened after the flooding, the government shut down. It was estimated in the article I read that the estimated 70% loss of visitors would result in the loss of over 1,100 jobs and about $90 million in spending at Estes Park. These folks are not going to get back pay from the government or a recall to their job when this mess is over. Those are the true victims of a government shutdown, and I think politicians should be tarred and feathered.

On a lighter note, I hope to see lots of you at Fincon this week. I am excited and nervous. I am such a small cog in the online wheel, and there are some really big time people who will be at this meeting. I think there will be lots to learn!

Giveaway

 

Don’t forget to enter for your share of $660 in Halloween cash. You could buy lots of pumpkins with that much money!

Mentions

 

Thanks to these fine bloggers who mentioned me this week. Elk bugles to you all!

The Frugal Farmer

Money Smart Guides

Carnivals

 

Lifestyle Carnival-October 6

The Carnival of Financial Independence-Party On Edition 

20/20 Posts of the Week

 

I’ll devote three of my 20/20 posts to the government shutdown this week. It seems no one thinks it’s a good idea. Go figure!

Dear Government-Grow Up! at Debt Roundup

If a Government Shutdown Causes an Economic Crisis, Will You Be Ready? at Frugal Rules

The Government Shutdown and the Extreme Importance of Emergency Funds at Budget Blonde

Our Nightmare on Rental Street: Evicting a Tenant at Luke 1428

Pay to Pee? at Student Debt Survivor. That one isn’t government or eviction related, but I figure you need a laugh by now.

Have you gotten your pumpkin yet? Ever heard an elk bugle? Should the states bail out Washington? Should we secede from the union? Anything else on  your mind?

About Kim Parr

Kim Parr is a private practice optometrist, freelance writer, and personal financial blogger. You can follow her journey to 20/20 financial vision at Eyes on the Dollar.

17 comments

  1. We don’t have our pumpkins yet, but plan to get them this weekend (and maybe some of that decorative corn too). I’m originally from Maine and Acadia National Park is basically our back yard. The full impact of the government shut down (and park shutdown) isn’t known yet, but in a small community that relies almost solely on the tourist industry for income, there’s obviously going to be a huge impact on the local community. Very frustrating and very sad. Thanks for including my post. Have a great weekend!

  2. Interesting that the local government is paying to keep the national park open. I guess there’s that much tourism revenue coming in from it that it’s worthwhile?

  3. I wonder how much the state governments will get in tax revenue from the tourists. You figure someone had to do an analysis on how much money would be lost because the parks were closed. Even if they don’t break even or come out ahead, there is still a lot of political capitol that the governors can bank for the next election cycle.

  4. LOL, funny about the elk bugle. 🙂 This shutdown crap is a mess, and I think it’s sick that Colorado had to “bail out” the US govt. That’s akin to kids having to support their parents because their parents continually blow their money at the casino and won’t learn the lesson. On a lighter note, have fun at the pumpkin patch. We did the apple orchard yesterday and loved it!

    • We had a great time, and got a pony ride. I’m feeling that Santa might get asked for a pony now. I might have opened a big can or worms!

  5. Thanks for the mention Kim! There have been many states that have paid to keep open their parks because it brings so much revenue. Though they have to pay to keep open the national parks, I realize that some of these places get millions. Arizona did the same thing with the Grand Canyon. I can’t imagine how much they would lose for not being open.

    • It’s not just the parks. It’s all the little businesses that make their living off tourists. October is prime season. I worry that it’s already too late and we will see more problems down the road as businesses can’t make it through the winter. Mesa Verde is still closed and there are lots of establishments in our town that are really hurting without the tourist dollars.

  6. Today I learned that the crab fishermen in Alaska can’t get their licenses to fish because that section of the government is shut down and deemed non-essential. Politicians getting paid continues to be essential even though they don’t seem to be doing anything but fisheries licenses and the hundreds of people that will be unemployed because all of the crab processing plants will remain closed is not essential.

    Looking in from Canada and can’t help but think your government is a bunch of whiney preschoolers.

    • It’s very sad, but true. If they were going to stop working because of health care reform, maybe it should have been before the vote some time ago that passed it into law. No one who is not in Washington thinks this behavior is OK. It’s sad that our elected representatives are not representing us, but upholding political agendas instead of the will of the people. It is embarrassing.

  7. The Shining…One of the best/scariest horror movies ever. Nicholson was incredible in that. Still get shudders thinking about Shelley Duvall reading through the “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” manuscript. Not for the faint of heart.

    Thanks for including my post in your wrap-up. Hope your week ahead is a great one!

  8. I just heard this morning that AZ did the same thing with Grand Canyon. Ridiculous!!

    Have a great time at Fincon, hoping you do a post on what you learned when you get back!

  9. The government standoff is hurting this country’s credit and reputation. Without taking sides, I am in favor of negotiation between the political parties. It should have occurred between the last standoff and now.

    • No kidding. I think it’s all for drama and they will act like heroes when they make a deal right before the default deadline. Somehow, I don’t think anyone sees them as heroes at this point.

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