Yosemite turning away visitors on 123rd birthday

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif.

Closed signs are now in place at the entrance to Yosemite. Only drivers passing through to other destinations or those who have reservations for the next two nights are allowed in and all visitors will have to pack up leave by Thursday afternoon.

Taz Boudreau brought her sons all the way from South America to see the iconic sights that are now off limits.

"It's terrible because we don't have a lot of opportunity to come here; we are from Chile so it's kind of hard to do this trip," Boudreau said.

The park is eerily quiet with few tourists and 660 workers on furlough until a spending plan is passed. Neighboring communities, including Mariposa, are also concerned about the economic impact. The National Park Service says visitors spend $76 million a day in areas near national parks. Local business owners are already preparing for the worst.

"I'll do a lot of gem and mineral shows and craft shows if I have to and try to expand the website," Yosemite Gifts owner Su Carney said. "The problem is the employees. I'll have to cut their hours and work myself, so it's going to hurt a whole chain."

Copyright © 2019 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.