Greg Bryan, vice president and chief operating officer of the Best Western Premier Grand Canyon Squire Inn, mayor of Tusayan, Arizona, and a member of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA), is set to testify this morning at a joint hearing of the House Natural Resources and Oversight and Government Reform Committees.
The hearing, “As Difficult As Possible: The National Park Service’s Implementation of the Government Shutdown,” has been convened by Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (R-WA) to examine the impact of the ongoing federal government shutdown on national parks and those associated businesses that rely on tourists for their economic viability, including the lodging industry. Mayor Bryan, whose property is located at the South Rim entrance of the Grand Canyon, will discuss the bipartisan efforts by Governor Jan Brewer, the Arizona congressional delegation and state legislature, and business owners to fund the reopening of national parks in that state and protect the Arizona economy.
“Our nation’s fiscal strength isn’t a partisan issue, and the millions of hoteliers and small business owners who are working hard each day to create jobs and grow the economy cannot do so right now because of the failure of those in Washington to reach a solution,” said Katherine Lugar, AH&LA president and CEO. “The 1.8 million lodging employees across the country implore Congress and the President to listen to Mayor Bryan and the thousands of other hotel franchisees, owners, and operators across the country and see exactly the impact the shutdown is having on the economy. Before the 12 straight quarters of economic growth to which this industry has been a major contributor are completely erased, a solution must be reached. ”
Now in its 16th day, the shutdown is costing the U.S. lodging industry more than $57.6 million for every week it continues. The closure of national parks in particular has had a significant effect on nearby communities that rely on tourism, with hotels, restaurants, retail, and other industries losing $76 million each day in visitor spending. Together with the $200 million per day in collective American income that is being lost, the lodging sector – among many others – is losing its ability to continue as a driver of jobs and economic growth.
“We are so grateful to Mayor Greg Bryan for testifying on behalf of Arizona’s greatest treasure, the Grand Canyon, and about the impacts the ongoing government shutdown continues to have on our state’s tourism industry, “ said Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association’s President & CEO Debbie Johnson. “As a past chairman of our organization and a longtime Arizona hotelier, Mayor Bryan’s leadership and determination was instrumental in the re-opening of the Grand Canyon, and we hope that his testimony sheds light on the negative impacts the closure of our national parks and monuments have on the countless businesses and employees who rely on tourism for their livelihoods.”
Click here ( Adobe Acrobat PDF file) to download the testimony.
Logos, product and company names mentioned are the property of their respective owners.