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West Branch Back In Business
WEST BRANCH, IA (CBS2/FOX28) Tourists were back in West Branch at the Herbert Hoover Library and Museum for a ceremony commemorating the former Presidents death. Some were worried that the event might not take place because the Government Shutdown had closed the park for more than two weeks.
All Pink Pony owner Brenda Welsch could do during those first two weeks of October, when the towns main attraction was closed, was just keep serving food and ice cream.
"I'm too bull-headed, I won't. I'll keep going, I'll keep plugging, said Welsch.
Even though she was mostly by herself.
"I was coming to work and not doing much at work, as far as customers, said Welsch.
The Government Shutdown kept tourists off the museum grounds but also out of the stores along Main Street that rely on their business.
"20 to 30% of our regular visitors are visitors to West Branch in the main case for the Hoover Library and Park, said the Owner of the Brick Arch Winery John McNutt.
The Library estimates that it lost about 6,000 visitors over the more than two weeks it was closed. That means it lost the price of admission for those visitors plus what could have been bought in the gift shop. But thats just part of the West Branch experience.
"Up and down Main Street when people stop they usually stop and visit and have lunch and dinner, so forth like that, said the Executive Director of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library Association Jerry Fleagle.
The business owners say the hope is that the ceremony today will jump start the flow of tourists and help make up for lost time.
"That'll bring a lot of people back in the doors, get them wandering around and maybe we'll have a lunch or two later, said Welsch.
But they also say its too early to tell.