BAD LANDLORD: National Park Service Forcing Privately Operated Sites to Close


WASHINGTON, D.C., October 4, 2013 - This week the Obama Administration began erecting metal barricades to keep families, veterans, school groups and visitors out of popular open-air monuments in Washington D.C. such as the Lincoln Memorial, which did not happen during the last government shutdown, and the World War II Memorial. The U.S. Park Service has also closed small businesses and non-profit operations that happen to be located on public lands. Many of these non-federally funded sites exist throughout the United States and operate with no staff or resources from the National Park Service. This is yet another example of the Obama Administration attempting to make the government shutdown as painful as possible and forcing closures of private and nonprofit operators that did not happen during previous government shutdowns.

Claude Moore Colonial Farms
McLean, Virginia
“The NPS is quoted today in the Washington Post saying ‘The monuments are closed because, during a shutdown, there is no money to pay the rangers who staff them.’

What utter crap. We have operated the Farm successfully for 32 years after the NPS cut the Farm from its budget in 1980 and are fully staffed and prepared to open today. But there are barricades at the Pavilions and entrance to the Farm. And if you were to park on the grass and visit on your own, you run the risk of being arrested.”

Oregon Inlet Fishing Center and Avon Pier
Cape Hatteras , North Carolina
“The closing of Cape Hatteras National Seashore also means the Oregon Inlet Fishing Center and Avon Pier, along with several businesses that rent horses for riding on the beach, must cease their “concession” operations.

Although the business themselves may own the buildings and inventory inside them, they are located on National Park Service land.”

Pisgah Inn
Brevard, North Carolina
“O’Connell runs the business but the government owns the building. He leases it.

The parkway road is still open and guests are still traveling. O’Connell, whose family has run the business on the parkway for 35 years, said he wanted to serve his guests.

‘It’s conscience and conviction that have taken over me and I just can’t roll over any more,’ he said.”

Mt. Vernon
Alexandria, Virginia
“The National Parks Service attempted to shut down Mt. Vernon, George Washington’s plantation, earlier this week. There’s only one problem: As The Blaze points out, Mt. Vernon is owned by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, which receives no government funding.

Nevertheless, the NPS erected barricades in front of parking lots at the estate Tuesday.”

Glen Echo Park
Montgomery County, Maryland
Glen Echo Park located on NPS land and is home to arts and children’s facilities but is operated by a private partnership with Montgomery County. NPS has three interpretive staff there and picks up trash, but otherwise County and Partnership run the operations. The closure notice came orally a few days before and was followed by barricades being put up.

City Tavern
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
“Restaurant public relations director Molly Yun said they were notified there was a possibility a closure might happen, but they were allowed to remain open during the last government shutdown 17 years ago.

‘We were somewhat shocked when we received the news today[Thursday} that we would have to close at 3 p.m.,’ she said. ‘Unfortunately, we're going to have to stay closed until the government re-opens and our hands are tied.’”

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