The story of the Pisgah Inn, a privately owned and managed restaurant on Federal land, is only getting stranger. After the owner announced that he would defy National Park Service orders to close, he got him with a 24 hour blockade.
Owner Bruce O’Connell told FoxNews.com on Monday that rangers are still outside his business, blocking the entrance to the parking lot. As of late Monday morning, he said there were three cars and five rangers stationed outside.
“Their message is, ‘sorry, we’re following orders,’” he said, describing it as a “24/7 blockade.”
So the Pisgah Inn can’t stay open, because, in the words of an NPS spokesman, so that “people don’t utilize a business that, according to the federal government, is closed.”
The Federal government lacks the resources during a shutdown to keep open a restaurant that they don’t run. But they do have the resources to conduct a 24/7 hour blockade of the place using 5 rangers and 3 cars.
Here by the way is how Reuters reported it. Their headline was “Defiant N.C. innkeeper relents, will close due to federal shutdown.”
Meanwhile freedom-loving protesters have arrived at Pisgah Inn, the site of Obama’s own Berlin Wall blockade.
Conservative activists protested Saturday outside a private hotel and restaurant forced to close during the partial federal government shutdown because it leases a federal government building on federally owned land.
Park rangers began blocking the inn’s three entrances off the parkway at lunchtime Friday, stayed through the night and remained there Saturday to make sure the inn didn’t reopen, O’Connell said.
Parkway Chief Ranger Steve Stinnett said park service managers in Washington directed him to block access to the inn.
Park Service spokeswoman Dana Soehn said she understands the frustration resulting from the inn’s closure.
“We understand people want to express their disappointment,” she said. “But this is a federally owned facility run by the concessionaire. All federally owned facilities were closed as part of the shutdown.”
There’s no sane reason to close a facility that happens to be run by the Federal government, but whose operation doesn’t cost the Federal government any money or require Federal employees to take any action.
“We understand people want to express their disappointment. Our job is to protect the facility and the resources.”
What exactly are they protecting the facility from? People eating there?
O’Connell said he planned to seek a court order to get rangers to stop blocking access to his business.
Greg Walter, of Jackson County, held up a sign Saturday for passing motorists that read: “A president who deliberately harms the people must be impeached.”