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Federal government re-opens
Congress re-opened the federal government last week, meaning an end to access restrictions on the West End’s wild spaces.
Though Kalaloch Lodge opened Oct. 13, the re-opening of the government means the Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center and the Forks Recreation Information Center re-opened last Thursday, Oct. 17, though with winter hours of Friday through Sunday.
Staircase, Elwha, Lake Crescent, Hoh, Mora, Ozette, Queets, Quinault areas all opened last Thursday as well.
Lissy Andros, director of the Forks Chamber of Commerce, estimated the 17-day shutdown cost the local economy $32,964.
Andros said there were 268 fewer visitors to the chamber’s Visitor Information Center in October 2013 than there were in October 2012. Tourists typically spend a daily average of $123 in Forks and the surrounding area.
The re-opening also meant some 200 federal employees resumed their jobs.