NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

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October 8, 2013

Woman says elderly tourists at Yellowstone forced to stay inside hotel, bus

(Continued)

SALISBURY, Mass. —

"She responded and said, 'Sir, you are recreating,' and her tone became very aggressive," Vaillancourt said.

The seniors quickly filed back onboard and the bus went to the Old Faithful Inn, the park's lodge located next to the park’s most famous site, Old Faithful geyser. That was as close as they could get to the famous site — barricades were erected around Old Faithful, and the seniors were told to stay inside the hotel.

By Oct. 3, the park, which sees an average of 4,500 visitors a day, was nearly empty, Vaillancourt said.

Vaillancourt's tour guide, Gordon Hodgson, accused the park service of "Gestapo tactics" in an interview with the Enterprise.

"The national parks belong to the people," he told the Enterprise. "This isn't right."

Calls to Yellowstone's communications office were not returned, as most of the personnel have been furloughed.

Details for this story were reported by The Newburyport (Mass.) News.

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