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Northeast Ohio ready for reopenings after shutdown

10:58 PM, Oct 16, 2013   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- Federal workers are rejoicing and those who use Northeast Ohio's National Parks and Historic Sites are ready for the locks to come off and the trails to reopen.

"This town has been a ghost town for the past two weeks. Nobody riding bikes, nobody on the train, they're not dropping off 100 people each time," said Douglas Charnock, the sales manager for Century Cycles.

Century Cycles is ready to get things rolling again. The federal government shutdown even caused furloughs at its store in Peninsula.

With the Cuyahoga Valley National Park closed, Charnock says no one was riding or renting.

"Usually on a Saturday or Sunday, every one of these hooks are empty. These bikes aren't sitting here," he said. 

"Even though those [park] gates aren't open, our parking lot is still open," said Fisher's Cafe manager Tana Dorsey.

Fisher's has seen a steady lunch crowd dwindle, leading it to promote special deals, like the lobster dinner through emails and Facebook to try to make up for fewer sales and tips while Congress stalled.

"I see them still getting paid and, at the end of the day, we're the ones suffering and it's not affected them one bit," said Dorsey. 

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic railroad is also hoping to get back on the tracks, after losing an estimated $12,000 to $15,000 each day.

Train crews, including 25 seasonal employees, are on standby.

"We will re-open immediately, meaning as soon as possible after the decision comes down," said Kelly Steele with CVSR.

"If it is signed by everyone tonight, we will run tomorrow. If it isn't finalized until the morning, we will be prepared to run in the afternoon. We are very anxious."

"We cannot make up that money, it is simply lost. We have not been able to run 11 days," said Steele.

"The train runs again...that means we will have the photographers, the artists, the bikers on the trail again," said Dorsey.

In Mentor, the James Garfield House could also reopen Thursday. It's been closed all month, impacting student groups with scheduled field trips and others.

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