Aztec Ruins among national monuments closed

Posted at: 10/02/2013 6:51 PM
By: Ashley McElroy, KOB Eyewitness News 4

The government shut down has closed all the national parks including the Aztec Ruins National Monument in the Four Corners.

Tourists who traveled a long way to Aztec were pretty disappointed.

The gate is as close as you'll get to the ruins during the government shutdown and tourists aren't too happy about it, especially if you've traveled all the way from Germany, like Gerhrad Sprey, to see the incredible history of the southwest.

"I was very sad, it’s the first time I saw something like that," said Sprey.

For Dan and Genevieve Maloney, they have to cut their retirement trip short.

"We were at Mesa Verde yesterday and it was closed and were here today and it's closed and I guess that's going to happen to the rest of our trip," they said.

It’s not just disappointing for tourists but the city of Aztec as well.  Chris Duthie from the Department of Tourism and Marketing tells KOB Eyewitness News 4 that 85 percent of the people who visit Aztec come for the ruins.

"People come out here to see the Indian ruins and when they're not open it proves to be a very detrimental effect on tourism not just Aztec but the entire four corners area," Duthie said.

Aztec has been getting complaints from unhappy tourists even though the city has no control over when the ruins will open back up.

Duthie said that maybe this shutdown will give people more appreciation for the national parks.

"When you take something away from someone, who has taken that for granted, all of a sudden it becomes really important."