Government Shutdown Slowing Down Canoe Business

WESTFALL TOWNSHIP — The government shutdown is continuing to affect people here in our area.

A Pike County business told Newswatch 16 that the government shutdown is preventing a business from making money.

Kittatinny Canoes has been around for 73 years.

The store allows visitors to rent out canoes and kayaks before hitting the Delaware River.

Due to the government shutdown about 40 miles of the Delaware River is closed. A large stretch of the river runs along the Delaware Water Gap which is considered a national park.

Ruth Jones recently retired from her family owned business before passing it off to her son.

She said that Kittatinny Canoes, which is located along Route 6 has seen government shutdown’s in the past, but this one is putting a damper on business.

“Here we have the perfect weather conditions. It’s 75 degrees, sunshine and people aren’t coming because the river is closed,” Jones said.

Jones worries that if the shutdown continues, the family business will take a big hit.

“October is shoulder season income. Of course we’re closed until mid to late April so you need that shoulder season income to get you through the winter months,” Jones said.

Visitors told Newswatch 16 that they Congress needs to make an agreement soon.

Some worry portions of the Delaware River will remain closed during the popular fall foliage season in the Poconos.

“They should try to work something out and get things going again in time for the peak leaf season,” Sal Amorese of Princeton, New Jersey said.

Other people we spoke with were not aware that the government shutdown had an impact on the Delaware Water Gap.

“This is ridiculous that they have a barricade up,” said John Lupsello of Milford.

Lupsello and his family stopped at Milford Beach on Friday.

His family quickly learned that the park is closed.

“This is the off season, there is never anybody here. The bathrooms are never open, you’re allowed to bring your dog, they don’t charge you. It’s ridiculous that this is closed.”

Jones is hoping that the government shutdown ends soon.

Until then visitors can still canoe, kayak and go white water rafting upstream.

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