A mass migration from national parks began Tuesday morning after news of the federal government shutdown spread throughout agencies across the country.
Park rangers at Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks closed entrance gates at 8 a.m.
Two-hundred Grand Teton and 529 Yellowstone employees received furlough notices.
Visitors were given 48 hours to exit the parks, and park administrators worked to get backcountry adventurists out as soon as possible.
More than 520 people spent Monday evening in Grand Teton National Park. More than 515 were booked for Tuesday. Yellowstone had strong numbers in attendance, according to park spokesman Al Nash.
Yellowstone averages 54,000 visitors in the first week of October, Nash said.
“That’s not the quite the same number as our summer peak, but it has impacts,” Nash said. “Revenues for the park are associated with that and a significant financial impact to gateway communities that serve park visitors.”
The Cody Country Chamber of Commerce expects the town to lose about $4 million for each day the shutdown is in place.
Visitors, gateway businesses and government employees aren't the only people affected by the early stages of the shutdown. The Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce uses a government building to house its operations. Chamber employees spent Monday morning moving their offices to a different building two blocks away.
"We had to leave because all federal buildings are closed," said Rick Howe, director of visitor services at the chamber.
The National Parks Conservation Association expects gateway communities across the country to lose a combined $30 million per day during the shutdown.
Please check back for more on this developing story.