Government shutdown taking a toll on Cave City businesses 

CAVE CITY, Ky.- Mammoth Cave National Park, one of Kentucky’s most popular tourist destinations, is closed indefinitely because of the government shutdown, and fewer travelers heading to the park means less business for the neighboring town of Cave City.

Cave City sits just off Interstate 65 about six miles from Mammoth Cave National Park. It’s place to stop, eat, fill up on gas and do some shopping on the way to or from the national park. Many of the businesses there cater to tourists and depend on their business year around.

“Cave City is a tourist town so naturally Mammoth Cave being closed has effected our business. We still have locals that come in, but we don’t get as many tourists now that the cave is closed,” said Paul Sullivan, the owner of Paul’s Antiques and Collectibles

Sullivan’s store is one of the many antique shops around Cave City that attract tourists looking for that special something.

“There’s a lot of people that are searching for that special treasure, that are always looking, and Cave City has a lot of antique shops. We’re excited to have everyone that does come see us,” said Sullivan.

Shop owners say that tourism during the winter months is usually slow, but with Mammoth Cave closed it’s even slower and sometimes non-existent.

“Especially this time of year, tourism businesses – restaurants, hotels, … all those people need every dollar that they can take in,” said Gregory Davis Executive Director at Cave City Tourist and Convention Commission.

Davis said they’ll have to wait and see what effect the shutdown has had on their slow season.

“I know talking to businesses that we are down, motels and restaurants, how much that is we’ll have to determine later on whenever this is over,” said Davis.