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Government deal is perfect timing for Lincoln tourism

SPRINGFIELD -- Now that the government shutdown is over, life is getting back to normal for thousands of furloughed workers across the country.
SPRINGFIELD -- Now that the government shutdown is over, life is getting back to normal for thousands of furloughed workers across the country. WCIA-3's Ashley Michels keeps us Connected to the Capitol.

The Lincoln Home reopened Thursday and staff say they're glad to be back at work. One worker says he was so excited, he couldn't sleep last night.

He's not the only one who couldn't wait to get here. The parking lot was full earlier which is something that hasn't been seen here in almost three weeks.

To say Laura Gundrum is passionate about her work is an understatement.

"I've really missed being at the park and working with the public."

She teaches people about Abraham Lincoln and where he lived. But, for the past two-and-a-half weeks, visitors haven't been allowed inside the site's crown jewel.

"I've just felt unfortunate for them to miss that opportunity to miss a tour. I think they can related to him here because, as they walk through each room of his house, they see his personal side which is often missed."

That's why Gundrum and her staff are happy the government shutdown is over.

"How does it feel to be back?"

"Great! People came in with a big smile on their face and were very enthusiastic to get right back to work giving the tours."

They have plenty to keep them busy.

"We have nine or ten school groups which is a good number and I'm noticing the public is coming in."

Bill Swank is one of them. He's part of a group visiting from Ohio. They're here to tour the Lincoln sites, but thought they'd have to settle with seeing just the outside.

"We came out here and just walked around and looked things over."

When they got the news, "We were really excited, regardless, but we were really excited that since we were still here, we were going to take a run at it so, first thing this morning, we headed out here."

The deal to reopen the government couldn't have come at a better time for the Lincoln Tourism industry. One of the other big attractions, Lincoln's Tomb, is set to close for repairs later this month and won't reopen for six months.
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