By Wendy Osher
Tourism officials in Hawaiʻi are making assurances to visitors that many facilities in the state remain open, despite a federal government shutdown that went into effect at midnight on Tuesday, Oct. 1.
“Despite the federal government shutdown, Hawaiʻi is open for business,” said Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority president and CEO, Mike McCartney in a statement today.
“All of the state and county parks, beaches and trails remain open and none of the state’s airports have been affected,” said McCartney, who noted that essential personnel from the FAA, USDA, TSA and Customs, continue to operate at Hawaiʻi airports.
Federal facilities, however, including all of the National Parks in the state are closed. This includes Haleakalā National Park on Maui where an estimated $6,800 in entrance fees will be lost each day the shutdown continues, according to National Park Service officials on Maui.
While the park itself is closed to visitors, an estimated 15 Haleakalā employees who are considered essential for security and emergency services will remain on site.
In addition, the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary Visitor Center on Maui and the Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge on Kauaʻi have also been closed, according to tourism officials.
Other national facilities throughout the state that closed are: Ala Kahakai National Historic Trails on Hawaiʻi Island; Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park on Hawaiʻi Island; Kalaupapa National Historic Park on Molokaʻi; Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park on Hawaiʻi Island; Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historic Park on Hawaiʻi Island; Puʻukoholā Heiau National Historic Site on Hawaiʻi Island; USS Arizona Memorial on Oʻahu; the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park on Oʻahu.
Authorities say the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor and Battleship Missouri Memorial on Oʻahu will remain open.
“The HTA will continue to monitor the federal government shutdown and how it may impact Hawaiʻi and our visitor industry,” said McCartney.
“We hope that a compromise will be reached soon and this shutdown will have a limited effect on our community and the thousands of federal workers here in the state,” he said.