Restaurant in Taylor County may close its doors with government shutdown
TAYLOR COUNTY (WAOW) -
The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest continues to be hit by the government shutdown. First, staff was furloughed and campgrounds closed. Now, a restaurant in the park might have to close its doors.
Steve Kalmon makes homemade crust and homemade sauce.
"30 years of making pizza, you kinda get tired of looking at it. But I do enjoy one every once in a while," said Kalmon.
He's been dishing out the pizza at Mondeaux Dam Lodge for 11 years.
When the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest had to close because of the government shutdown, this business owner felt the effects.
"I'm not selling any ice, any meals, all my boat rentals were canceled," said Kalmon.
Now the trickle down effect is getting worse. The Forest Service told Kalmon a letter from D.C. is on the way. After he receives that letter, he will have 7 days to stop serving the public.
The timing isn't good. A lot of Kalmon's business this time of year comes from hunters. But if the government remains closed, so does he. That means he'll be missing out on business during a major season.
Friends from the community are showing their support.
"It's just sad that we have to worry about people losing their jobs and, in his case, this is his livelihood that's going to suffer, just because our Congress is stubborn," said Carol Ewan of Medford.
Kalmon is keeping busy until that letter arrives.
"Hopefully it doesn't come," said Kalmon.
Of course, the lodge could re-open when the government does.
Kalmon says he plans on being open for a while. He was offered a 5-year extension on his federal contract. But, he can't move forward on that agreement until the government opens again.