Tourists visit HS National Park only to be met with barricades - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

Tourists visit HS National Park only to be met with barricades

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HOT SPRINGS (KATV) - Tourists are finding their plans to explore the natural state have been abruptly canceled as a result of the federal government shutdown.

Tourists looking to spend a few days exploring the Hot Springs National Park had everything to make for a memorable visit. They had clear skies, warm weather, and the day planned out but the most important was missing---access to the park.

"Every place we've gone today is closed," said Denise Townsend.

Townsend and her husband, both from Spring, TX, drove seven hours to spend the week in Hot Springs.

"To see all the national parks and see all the water," she said of the plans she had.

But those plans would change drastically Tuesday when the federal government failed to reach a spending deal by midnight the night before.

"There's not as many people here," said Renea Phillips.

Phillips, who grow up in Hot Springs, says with the city's main attractions shut down, the streets are eerily quiet.

"there's not kids in the park, usually there's kids and people walking up and down and playing in the park and they're just not there today," she said. "It's kind of creepy walking down there because it's not as busy as it usually is."

It's a rare sight in a town that's usually bustling with people this time of year. But even with the government shut down putting a damper on some vacations, Phillips has some advice for visitors.

"Don't let it stop you. Get out here. It's still a beautiful area," she said.

She encourages tourists to make the best of their time here.

"Don't let it slow you down. Don't let the government get the best of us," said Phillips.

Still for Townsend, with Hot Springs partially shut down, it's just not worth it.

"Until they make decisions we're pretty much stuck here. [our vacation] It's over," she said.