Ventura County

McGrath Campground Closure Impacts Businesses

VENTURA COUNTY, Calif. - The Closure of McGrath State Beach in Oxnard is having a financial impact on local businesses. 

McGrath State Beach officially closed to the public on Sunday afternoon.  The popular state park was closed because of a flooding issue that put a large portion of the campground under water.  Tourist aren't the only one disappointed so are local businesses.

"The area around is losing tourist dollars. Because there is no one here, there is no one to shop at the local shops. So revenue across the board would be down, because of the closure," said Tyson Butzke with California State Parks.

Butzke says, on average McGrath State Beach sees about 200,000 visitors every year.  Butzke says the park will only see about 45,000 guest this year because the park has been closed for several months because of flooding.

The Ventura Harbor Village is just down the street from McGrath State Campgrounds. Restaurants and businesses at the village say campers would come to the village on a daily basis.

"It really hurts my business," said Joyce Lee with Village Market.

"I think it impacts the whole village here, said Tracy Lanquist with Ventura Swimwear.

"I am feeling so sad why it closed, it is too bad," said Ludia Hyun with Hyun Tackle Shop.

Hyun says, 50-percent of the people who to her tackle shop are campers from McGrath State Beach.  She says, the unexpected closure will make it really hard tomake a living.

Local restaurants are feeling the pinch as well.  Milano's in the Ventura Harbor was a popular spot for campers to enjoy a drink of the weekend.

"It is not impacting enough to close a place down, but it is impacting enough to see that there is something missing," said Milano's Italian Restaurant manager, Kellina Pelletier

The biggest financial burden is on the State Parks Department.  McGrath State Beach campsites are $45 a night.  If all 170 campsites were booked, the campground would make more than $7,500 in just one night.

The only way McGrath will reopen is if there is a big enough storm to break the sand bar that is keeping the water trapped at McGrath.

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