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Lake Mead visitation off 43 percent in shutdown

By: The Associated Press
March 3, 2014 Updated: March 3, 2014 at 4:01 pm
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CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Lake Mead National Recreation Area in southern Nevada saw a 43 percent decline in average visitation during the 16-day government shutdown last fall, the government reported Monday.

The report from the National Park Service said the number of visitors to the reservoir on the Colorado River near Las Vegas fell to about 267,000 in October, down from a three-year monthly average of 473,000.

That decline resulted in a drop of $8.4 million in visitor spending, to $10.9 million from $19.3 million.

Not every national park in the country was included in the report. Great Basin National Park along the Nevada-Utah line was not mentioned. But a separate report also released Monday on national park visitations in 2012 shows that nearly 95,000 people visited Great Basin that year, spending nearly $5 million.

Some national parks with public roads or waterways were not completely closed during the Oct. 1-16 shutdown and actually saw an increase in spending during that time period, the report said.

Death Valley was one of those that saw an increase of more than $500,000 in park-related visitor spending, the report said.

For 2012, the park service said national parks or recreation areas in Nevada attracted 4.8 million visitors who spent $194 million. Those parks include Great Basin and parts of Lake Mead and Death Valley.

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