Haleakalā Projects Loss of $6,800 Per Day
By Wendy Osher
Haleakalā National Park is projecting monetary losses of $6,800 per day in entrance fees for each day that the federal government shutdown continues, officials said.
The park hosts an average of 2,000 to 3,000 visitors each day according to information released by the National Park Service and the US Department of the Interior.
Nationwide, the losses are projected at $450,000 per day given the more than 715,000 visitors that frequent national parks each day, the NPS said.
“All visitor facilities in the park’s Summit and Kīpahulu Districts, including buildings, overlooks, trails, campgrounds, cabins, streams, pools, parking lots, and roads, are closed to park visitors,” the announcement said.
Visitors can call 572-4400 for the latest Haleakalā updates.
Officials say approximately 15 Haleakalā employees who are considered essential for security and emergency services will remain on site; all others (an estimated 70 NPS employees on Maui) have been furloughed.
The furlough of employees is the result of a federal government shutdown caused by the lapse in appropriations. Maui park officials say the national park will remain closed until the government reopens.
More than 29 businesses with commercial use permits and a number of non-profit cooperating association employees will not be conducting business in Haleakalā during the park closure, according to NPS officials on Maui.
Visitors currently staying overnight in campgrounds and cabins will be given until noon HST on Thursday, Oct. 3 to leave the park, officials said.
“In addition, all park programs and special events have been canceled, including talks, hikes, school programs, volunteer projects, and the park’s involvement in the Maui County Fair and parade,” the announcement said.
Visitors spent over $78 million dollars a year in Maui County in association with park visits, according to data from 2008 that was released by the NPS.
In 2008, commercial service provider wages, plus National Park Service payroll, reportedly supported 1660 jobs and $55 million in economic activity in Maui County, according to NPS officials on Maui.
The National Park Service website is also out of service for the duration of the shutdown.