Government Shutdown Could Close Philly's Tourist Attractions - KMSP-TV

Government Shutdown Could Close Philly's Tourist Attractions

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PHILADELPHIA -

The U.S. National Park Service is preparing to shut it all down. Some of our most revered and popular tourist attractions, like the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, will close on Tuesday. That's if Congress can't come up with a last-minute budget deal.

Tom and Karen Wassermann just got to Philly from Seattle. Their first stop from the airport is the Liberty Bell

"You see people from all races and nationalities here it's inspiring," Tom said.

But they and many others were surprised when we told them the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall will be shut down if congress doesn't approve a spending bill by 11:59 Monday night.

"No. People come so far to see these beacons and icons and that would be just awful," Karen Wassermann said.

The Park Service tells us its 186 employees at Independence Historical Park would receive furlough notices when they show up for work Tuesday morning. Among the closures are the Independence Visitors Center, the newly-renovated Ben Franklin Museum and even Valley Forge National Park.

The impact locally could be big. This time of year Independence Mall sees 10,000 visitors a day. We talked to a group of students from Connecticut.

"Not knowing about seeing the bell. Not seeing all this stuff would be a tragedy for them," Jen Spano said.

High school freshman Mike Dagostino said coming to historical monuments like the Liberty Bell heighten his educational experience.

"We read it out of the book and you don't get the full effect. When you come here and see it we get to see how life like really makes it help," Dagostino said.

The closings could also mean big losses for other tourism-related businesses. The Wassermanns are just glad they got here before the shutdown.

"We cannot shut down our government it's way too important. We need to keep the lights on," Tom Wassermann said.

The Park Service tells us preparations for a shutdown are already being made. The word from Washington right now is chances for an emergency spending bill to keep these monuments open is fading.

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