The National Park Service announced that while Yosemite remains open, its visitor centers, hotels and restaurants are now closed in response to COVID-19 concerns.
Scott Fiester with the Mariposa Chamber of Commerce said the temporary closures in Yosemite are the latest blow to Mariposa businesses already reeling from sharp travel declines in response to COVID-19.
"A lot of our businesses are dependent on tourism. And so the lodging industry has already received hundreds of cancellations throughout the county. We have a big Airbnb population here, and just regular bed and breakfasts which are seeing drastic cancellations comining through," Fiester said.
Stephanie Erikson and her husband Keith own a nine room inn in Mariposa. The slowtown in tourism, when business typically is ramping up, has forced them to lay off all six of their employees.
"Everyday we’re living day-to-day. And every day is a new thing and every day it seems like it just keeps getting worse and worse," Erikson said.
Yosemite’s hotels and restaurants could reopen next month, but Fiester believes the impact of COVID-19 on Mariposa’s economy will be lasting and significant.