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Tourists, workers hope Arch re-opens soon

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- Ending the government shutdown will come as a big relief to tourists and workers at the Arch.

This time of year as many as 2,500 people visit the Arch on a single day and 6,000 on the weekend. With the Cardinals in the playoffs, there could be thousands more people paying a visit to the monument.

It’s been day after day of disappointment for people who traveled from across the United States and around the world to go up in the Arch.  Gunter and Inga Uhl are from Germany.  Gunter Uhl said, he was “A little bit angry.”   While Inga Uhl said, “It’s disappointing because we came to St. Louis of course to go up the Arch.”  Jim Jackson is the Chief Ranger for the Arch grounds. “We’d like to be open we want to be open we want to be at work we want visitors to come see the national parks,” he said.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon’s office has been talking to the feds to figure out how much it would cost Missouri taxpayers to reopen the monument.  Mike Farrenkopf, a visitor from Ohio thinks that’s a good plan. “I like the idea some of the governors have done the same at some of the other national parks,” he stated.

It’s been a waiting game for tourists and furloughed workers until someone pays the bill.  Jim Jackson said, “When that’s all approved, and funds are transferred to the Washington office, they will let our regional office know and then they’ll let us know.”

Visitor Kyle Wixson is fed up with politicians in Washington. “Extreme disappointment, I’m so disappointed with all those people in Washington all of them,” he said.  A spokesman for the governor said they’re still crunching the numbers, and he wasn’t sure how much it would cost the state to re-open the arch. He said they hoped Washington would take care of the problem first.

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Federal employee union to protest Arch closing