Las Vegas Sun

September 2, 2014

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Boats parade down Las Vegas Strip in shutdown protest

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

A vehicle leaves the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, which is closed because of the federal government shutdown Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013.

Boaters who say they're fed up the government shutdown is keeping them off Lake Mead took to the Las Vegas Strip in protest.

About 20 boats were towed through the tourist corridor between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday. People passing by the watercraft honked their horns and shouted out of their windows in support.

Organizer Stuart Litjens says he's frustrated by the gridlock's effect on small businesses, including his own company, Boulder Boats. He estimates he'll lose half a million dollars in boat sales if the shutdown continues for a month.

Lake Mead National Recreational Area is one of several parks around Las Vegas that are affected by the closure. Boaters say Lake Havasu, 2 ½ hours away, is one of the closest bodies of water still open.

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