Mosca, CO – Because of the shutdown of the federal government caused by the lapse in appropriations, the National Park Service (NPS) has closed all 401 national parks, including Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. All visitor facilities including the Park Visitor Center, Piñon Flats Campground, Medano Road and all trails within the park and preserve are closed. The park will remain closed until the government reopens.
Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve hosts 200 visitors on average each day in October; nationally, more than 715,000 visitors a day frequent the National Park System. The park will lose an estimated $600 of entrance fees each day of the shutdown and an estimated $400 in Piñon Flats Campground fees. Nationwide the NPS stands to lose approximately $450,000 per day in lost revenue from fees collected at entry stations and fees paid for in-park activities such as cave tours, boat rides and camping. Gateway communities across the country see about $76 million per day in total sales from visitor spending that is lost during a government shutdown. Visitors spend about $100,000 a year in the communities around Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.
In Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, 23 employees are on furlough because of the shutdown and another 2 concessions employees are similarly affected. Five employees remain on duty, providing security and emergency services.
Nationwide the shutdown has also furloughed more than 20,000 National Park Service employees; approximately 3,000 employees remain on duty to ensure essential health, safety, and security functions at parks and facilities. About 12,000 park concessions employees are also affected.
Because it will not be maintained, the National Park Service website will be down for the duration of the shutdown. NPS.gov has more than 750,000 pages and 91 million unique visitors each year.
For updates on the shutdown, please visit www.doi.gov/shutdown.