The first partial shutdown of the federal government in more than 17 years is over, but not before doing significant damage to the local tourism business. The National Great Rivers Museum at the Mel Price Locks and Dam in Alton, which is operated by the federal government, was the lone casualty in the Riverbend, but a big weekend was lost due to the gridlock.
Alton Regional Convention and Visitor's Bureau President Brett Stawar says his office has been trying to redirect visitors to the other state and locally run attractions as the shutdown continued, but the dollar amount lost over the past two weeks is estimated to be in the low-to-mid six figures.
He says the 10th anniversary of the Great Rivers Museum and the 25th anniversary of the Migratory Bird Sanctuary was slated to welcome the Secretary of the Army, district commanders, and other V.I.P.'s last weekend. He says adding up the losses is very frustrating.