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Shutdown Reaches Beaver Lake

BEAVER LAKE, AR -- The government shutdown is having a serious impact on some small businesses. Several marinas around Beaver Lake are not owned by the government, but without regular traffic to the park, their income is hurting.
BEAVER LAKE, AR -- The government shutdown is having a serious impact on some small businesses. Several marinas around Beaver Lake are not owned by the government, but without regular traffic to the park, their income is hurting.

"This time of the year, this lake should be incredibly busy. It's fishing season. We have nobody out here, nothing... We should have a boat here every three, four, five minutes... There's no way for our customers to get their boat out or in to the water," said Kevin Callaghan, owner of Horseshoe Bend Marina.

Silence surrounds the still waters of Beaver Lake, since the government shutdown has forced the closure of all national parks.

"The roads to the marinas will always be open but we're closing all the ramps... You cannot launch in one of our parks at all," said Ranger Alan Bland with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

"Horseshoe Bend Park, which again is the biggest park on Beaver Lake, and they are barricading that park right now and that's a big part of our dinner plate," said Callaghan.

His Horseshoe Bend Marina is a privately owned, small business, still feeling effects of the shutdown. His marina caters to campers and visitors, so without people at the lake and no one at the park, it is hard to make a profit. And Callaghan's marina peers are in the same boat.

"They're extremely concerned as well as I am... It's going to take us out if this thing doesn't change... This is what I do, it is my livelihood... If it continues, I may just walk. What else can you do?"

"It's frustrating that we have to do this. People understand why we're doing it, they're not happy about it," said Ranger Bland.

When asked if he thinks people realize how much this shutdown impacts small businesses, Callaghan responded, "I don't think so. Not at this point, but if this thing don't change quickly, I think it's going to be complete chaos."


(story contributed by KNWA, Fayetteville)
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