Closed Tourist Sites In D.C. Boost Business In Baltimore

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Thanks to the government shutdown, tourism in Washington, D.C. is taking a big hit. National parks and museums remain closed.

Monique Griego has more on how that’s bringing a boost in visitors to Baltimore.

It’s a bad time to be a tourist in Washington, D.C.

National parks, monuments and museums remain closed up and blocked off for day two of the government shutdown.

“It’s pretty disappointing,” one tourist said. “I hope they can fix it up pretty soon.”

“An expensive trip for nothing,” said another.

With tourists being turned away from the nation’s capital, some Baltimore attractions are expecting a boost in visitors.

“See if they could explore something different with everything shut down in D.C.,” said Jane Ballentine, Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.

Ballentine from the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore says she’s been inundated with calls from schools in Maryland, Virginia and other states that planned on going to the National Zoo but are coming to the Maryland Zoo instead.

“Rather than cancel the field trips and disappoint the kids, they’re looking for another venue,” Ballentine said.

Besides the school groups, the zoo is already seeing a boost in visitors because of all the federal workers who are out of work.

“It’s fun. I do get to spend the day at the zoo, but the lack of pay may not be fun, so hopefully we get back to work soon,” said Kate Wadsley, furloughed worker.

“I need to get away from the TV. I’ve been watching it non-stop. It’s just too much,” said Suzanne Cox, furloughed worker.

It’s too soon to tell just how many visitors may head north because of the shutdown, but with lawmakers going in circles and the weekend looming, local attractions are getting ready.

“Places like the [Maryland] Science Center, the aquarium, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Walters, we all could potentially see folks looking for activity to do,” Ballentine said.

There was a bill to reopen parts of the government, including national parks, but it failed.

The Statue of Liberty, Grand Canyon and Mount Rushmore are some other big attractions closed to the public.

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