Budget reopens Cuyahoga Valley National Park, but might it impact Cleveland Beer Week?
John Kosich, newsnet5.com
8:16 PM, Oct 16, 2013
2:07 AM, Oct 17, 2013
PENINSULA, Ohio - The budget deal reached in Washington reopening the government means national parks may open as early as Thursday morning.
That's good news for the scores of private businesses that operate in the parks forced to close because of the shutdown. That includes the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, which runs through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
The fall foliage train rides represent a big moneymaker for the railroad, which had to refund or reschedule about 9,000 tickets since the shutdown began.
"We're anxious and ready to go," said director of marketing Kelly Steele-Moore.
Each day since the shutdown, the railroad has been taking reservations for its popular scenic rail tours. Each day around 3 p.m. the next day's rides would be canceled as an agreement failed to materialize.
Late Wednesday, the railroad's list of nine rides scheduled for Thursday, starting at 9 a.m., remained scheduled to go in hopes an agreement would be reached in time to reopen the park in the morning.
While the CVSR has taken a hit, so too have many businesses in Peninsula that count on the tourists who come this time of year to see the park in its fall finest.
John Lane, one of the owners of Winking Lizard, is hopeful for a quick resolution not just because of the business the CVSR brings in this time of year, but because he is one of the creators of Cleveland Beer Week, which begins Friday, Oct. 18.
One of the more than 300 events scheduled includes "Ales on Rails," which combines fine beers from around the country with the scenic railroad.
"We sell it out every year. It's a big fundraiser for us," Lane said. While the event scheduled for Oct. 25 likely will not be effected with Wednesday's compromise another aspect of beer week may be.
"We've got a few beers from outside brewers that are made special for Cleveland Beer Week and we're not sure whether they're going to be able to get here on time or not because they haven't gone through label approval," Lane said.
Yes, any new beer made to be sold across state lines has to first have its ingredients and its labels approved by a division of the Department of Treasury.
"A lot of these breweries around the country have made special beers just for Cleveland Beer Week, they got to go through label approval and right now they're being held up by the Federal government," Lane said. "So there is a risk that we won't have those here in time."