Tourists twice surprised Gateway Arch is closed by government shutdown

ST. LOUIS - Talk about your disappointments.  The Karthikeyan family drove to St. Louis from Kentucky for a birthday weekend.  Reed turned seven and Poppy turned nine.  The family wanted to celebrate by visiting the Gateway Arch.  That birthday wish did not come true because of the government shutdown. The visitor center at the Gateway Arch will be closed for as long as the government shutdown lasts.

“We’re incredibly disappointed,” said Jory Karthikeyan, the girls’ mother.  “When we have trouble figuring out things we sit down and we work it out until we come up with a solution.   We don’t just give up and quit and shut down.”

She said lawmakers should work together to keep federal monuments such as the Gateway Arch open to the public.

Ashley Kelly also left St. Louis disappointed.  She made the drive from Tennessee to visit the Gateway Arch with her family.  The last time she tried to visit was in 2013 during a previous government shutdown.

“We waited for four years and we decided to come back,” she said. “It’s closed again.”

Trey Brown and Brian Bergeron came to St. Louis for a convention and put visiting the Gateway Arch at the top of their list of things to do.

“You see it on movies and videos and music videos and everything else,” said Bergeron.  “We can’t even go inside.”