Pier remains closed due to government shutdown, eight laid off
Posted October 9, 2013
Hatteras, N.C. — The entire country continues to feel the pinch of the government shutdown. As days go by, North Carolinians are starting to see more and more how the budget deadlock is impacting them.
At Avon Pier on the Outer Banks, which is usually a popular spot for visitors, the shutdown is affecting pier operator Keith Matthews’ business.
In the height of fall fishing season, it is not uncommon for hurricanes to shut the pier down for a few days, but a political blow-up is an odd twist.
“As far as business, none, nothing, dead, nonexistent,” Matthews said.
The pier is privately owned and reaches 600 feet into the ocean. The entrance is in a private parking lot. However, the pier house sits on Cape Hatteras National Seashore property, which is closed to visitors.
The park service told Matthews to close the pier, he said, and he has no idea when he will be able to open for business again. Matthews said that he’s been threatened with fines if he tries to reopen.
“We have eight employees, and they’re not working,” Matthews said. “They’re laid off and I’ve told them to apply for unemployment.”
There are rough seas ahead if the pier can’t reopen soon, he added.
“I’m mad with the whole political group, that they can’t get together and negotiate something and get the government back open,” Matthews said.