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Published on : Friday, November 22, 2013
The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA), the sole national association representing all segments of the 1.8 million-employee U.S. lodging industry, commends the introduction of the Public Access to Public Lands Guarantee Act (S. 1750).
The bill, authored by Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ), would require the federal government to allow any state or municipality that offers non-federal funds to reopen and operate national parks, monuments, and recreation areas on a temporary basis during a government shutdown to do so. The legislation also would require the federal government to reimburse states and municipalities for opening and running these areas if Congress retroactively appropriates operating funds, or if the government collected entry or user fees from these reopened areas during the shutdown.
“The recent 16-day government shutdown was a red flag for members of Congress and the Administration: Washington gridlock kills the economy,” said Katherine Lugar, AH&LA president/CEO. “In that short period of time, hoteliers across the country lost more than $115.2 million in economic activity, American workers lost billions in collective income, and communities and businesses that rely on tourism lost billions more in visitor spending.”
“Congress has given itself additional time to come up with meaningful, long-term solutions to prevent the nation from going through another damaging economic crisis,” Lugar continued. “However, until that time, the lodging industry must have assurances that another shutdown will not cause further harm to the bottom line of hoteliers. Senator Flake’s legislation is an important step in that direction, and we appreciate his introduction of this bill and his support of this industry.”