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Forts El Morro and Cristobal - govt shut down

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Anyone confirm if you are able to visit these forts during the govt shut down?  It was our plan next week in San Juan.

 

If not, what else would be recommend?

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They will be open. The Puerto Rico Tourism Company has stated that the will pick up whatever slack in temporary funding needed to keep them open.

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On 12/23/2018 at 8:24 PM, Stinger-pr said:

They will be open. The Puerto Rico Tourism Company has stated that the will pick up whatever slack in temporary funding needed to keep them open.

Interesting. They were closed this past Saturday. You could walk the grounds, but not go inside. Maybe they worked out something by Sunday, but the portions that would be accessible with a paid entry were unavailable. 

 

 

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Unfortunately, under shutdown rules I am not sure the tourism authority can do that, because while they can provide monies, they cannot direct them, and all the staff are NPS workers on furlough.  They might get the gates open, but I can't see the visitors center operating which is the primary access.  Plus other than essential there is no security on sight.

 

At the very least, all of that has to be arranged with the NPS.  Which is unstaffed.  So unless plans were in place prior, no one at the fed level can approve them.

 

So I think at your own risk limited is best that can be hoped for.

 

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I kindda thought that it sounded too good to be true in the first place and wondered about the fiscal and personnel logistics involved in such a transaction. It makes sense that local government can't take over the operation just like that. I just relayed the news as they came out. I guess I'll wait a few extra days next time...lol.

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They were able to pull it off for a few days at the Statue of Liberty, but that is a special case as some services are provided by the Port Authority already, including transportation and security, and others are volunteers so most of the roles needed could be handed.    So it is possible if the right people are in place to provide alternate resources, security and ticketing to be the trickiest.  

 

 

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I was reading this self guided walking tour thing from the Puerto Ricco day trips and it says that it is open while the government is shut down. This is what is says.....

 

US Federal Government Shutdown (Sunday, 23 December 2018) The San Juan National Historic Site (that's El Morro and Fort San Cristobal in Old San Juan) will remain OPEN during the government shutdown. El Yunque National Forest (including trails and Portalito HUB in Palmer) will remain OPEN during the government shutdown. Please note that El Yunque National Forest will be CLOSED on Christmas Day (25 December).

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Open doesn't mean fully operational.  For example, the refuge I volunteer at is technically 'open', as the automatic gate still operates and no one is being refused access.  However the visitors center is closed, the bathrooms are closed, there are no emergency services or security services, etc.

 

The Forts will be available (as the sign shows), I suspect, but with no supervision besides potentially essential security to prevent vandalism, no safety support and not all areas, like the elevator, accessible, so everything is at own risk.

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This is on the NPS web site page for San Juan

 

PARK CLOSURES
  • San Cristobal Visitor Center & Castillo San Felipe Del Morro Closed

    During the federal government shutdown, San Cristobal and Del Morro are closed. El Morro grounds will remain open. all visitor services are closed.

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Yes, the local Tourism Office was funding the partial operation since the shutdown began but they could not fund it anymore and the deal fell through son now they are in full shutdown.

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El Morro is open today with free admission. A ranger told me they expect to be open for the next 12 days or so if possible.  He said they were closed but only for a day. 

Edited by ShipsandDipper

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3 hours ago, ShipsandDipper said:

El Morro is open today with free admission. A ranger told me they expect to be open for the next 12 days or so if possible.  He said they were closed but only for a day. 

Are they fully operational or just external areas...

 

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Fully operational.  We were inside the fort. Bookstore open, displays, etc. 

Edited by ShipsandDipper

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20 hours ago, ShipsandDipper said:

Fully operational.  We were inside the fort. Bookstore open, displays, etc. 

Wow.  Technically illegal, but glad to see it.

 

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We were at the forts on 01/09/2019 and they were completely open (and free).

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