Yosemite National Park reduces hours in response to state lockdown

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- California's latest stay at home order is creating even more restrictions on traveling.

Local hotels are closed to out of state guests for leisure for at least the next three weeks under the new mandate, while residents are being told to stay home.

"This is yet another punch for the local businesses and the region," says Brooke Smith with the Yosemite Visitors Center.

Smith estimates the local hospitality industry is down about 55% during the pandemic just as business owners are being told to follow the same restrictions that were implemented back in the Spring.

Areas such as Oakhurst rely heavily on tourism dollars in and out of Yosemite National Park to keep hotels full and restaurants busy.

"No hotels or restaurants have closed at this time but definitely, some people's operations have been limited," Smith said. "One restaurant chose to close for the Winter up in the Gateway community, but all restaurants need your support right now."

Officials have come up with a way to support businesses in the foothill and mountain communities stay afloat by offering travel packages and other specials at YosemiteThisYear.com.

Whatever you buy can be used at a later time when health officials deem it safe to travel again.

"People can purchase hotel stays or group tours or sunset tours at Yosemite," Smith said. "They can purchase these in hopes of a better Spring."

Despite the shutdown - you can still visit Yosemite during the day, however, lodgings such as the Ahwahnee Hotel and campgrounds in the park are closed.

Restaurants in Yosemite will be limited as well, if not closed, all together as a result of the stay at home order.

"If you're looking for somewhere to get out of your house when you're staying home," Smith said. "As long as you're being safe and careful, Yosemite remains open for day-use visitors."
Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.