USS Arizona Memorial still open despite government shutdownUPDATED 7:09 PM HST Oct 03, 2013Video Transcript
It's day three of a partial government shutdown -- and no end in sight. Now -- a local non-profit is trying to WORK AROUND the closures. It's just one of many businesses finding ways for visitors to still experience Hawaii's top tourism sites... as the federal budget battle threatens the state's top industry. KITV4's Justin Fujioka joins us now with more in our continuing shutdown coverage.... Justin? Starting tomorrow, the Battleship Missouri Memorial will offer free pier- side tours of the U-S-S Arizona Memorial, which has been closed now for three days because of the government shutdown. Mike Carr: "IT'S SAD. A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE COMING OVER AND EXPRESSING THEIR DISAPPOINTMENT ON NOT BEING ABLE TO YOU KNOW, VIEW THE MEMORIAL OR WALK ON IT. SO, THE NEXT BEST THING IS FOR US TO DO A TOUR AND DESCRIBE THE EVENTS OF DECEMBER 7TH AS CLOSE TO THE MEMORIAL AS PEOPLE CAN POSSIBLY GET." The Battleship Missouri Memorial's pier is just a few hundred feet from the U-S-S Arizona Memorial. The president and C-O-O of the non-profit wants everyone to know they're still open... and now offering free 20-minute presentations about its neighbor. Phil Lingenfelter: "WE'RE GOING TO COVER WHAT EXACTLY HAPPENED HERE AT BATTLESHIP ROW. WHAT HAPPENED TO SOME OF THE BATTLESHIPS AND THEN TIE EVERYTHING BACK INTO THE BOOKENDS OF WORLD WAR II WITH USS ARIZONA OUT THERE AND THE WAR ENDING ONBOARD THE BATTLESHIP MISSOURI." Free shuttle service to and from the Missouri is available near Rainbow Bay, just past the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. Many tour companies have already jumped on the opportunity. Nicole Sommers: "WE THOUGHT THAT WE COULDN'T GET NEAR THIS AT ALL. LIKE, WE WERE LOOKING FROM THE HIGHWAY, TRYING TO LOOK DOWN AND SEE IT AND WE FINALLY WERE ABLE TO. WE OVERHEARD A BUS DRIVER SAY THAT WE COULD COME HERE AND WE WERE, SAID, 'OK WE'RE DOING IT,' AND JUST CAME." Tim Sommers: "I DON'T KNOW IF IT FULFILLS IT COMPLETELY. THAT WAS ONE OF THE THINGS WE REALLY LOOKED FORWARD TO. BUT IS IT SIGNIFICANT? DEFINITELY, AND IT MAKES ME WANT TO COME BACK AND BE ABLE TO GO TO IT. BUT NOT BEING ABLE TO AND BEING ABLE TO GET CLOSER THAN WE THOUGHT WE MIGHT BE ABLE TO MEANS A LOT." The Battleship Missouri Memorial says its Arizona tours will only last the duration of the government shutdown.