Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore happy to reopen - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore happy to reopen

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Folks at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore are sighing with relief now that the shutdown is over and they can open the park again.

They say the timing couldn't be better and tourist Tim Eddy agrees. "Just sort of an added bonus that today things are opening up so we'll get to see a little more of it and make our trip a little more worthwhile."

He's not the only one excited to see the parks reopened. "We are relieved personally and professionally that Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is reopen for the public," says public information officer, Bruce Rowe.

He says over 50 employees, including him, were without work during the shutdown. "I was home, did a lot of work around the house. I enjoy my job, it's important I think and I wanted to get back."

While this isn't the busiest time of year, the nice weather over the last few weeks means lost tourism."Certainly we would have been filled probably those weekends and probably half to a third filled during the week so there definitely was a financial loss."

Indiana Dunes Tourism is a partner with the national park. Even though they remained open during the shutdown, assistant director Christine Livingston says the whole area was hurt. "The National Park has a huge impact on our area. It's a huge draw to this area and to have it sort of taken out of the equation has a really big impact."

Luckily she says they had Indiana Dunes State Park to redirect tourists to. "It's a huge disruption, but we pulled together the best we could."

And now tourists like Eddy can enjoy all the area has to offer. "It's something we haven't been to before, been Indiana residents all our lives and now get a chance to see it and perfect timing with things opening back up."

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