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Visitors flock to DC sites again after shutdown

Thursday - 10/17/2013, 3:30pm  ET

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Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Visitors are filling Washington's museums after a 16-day government shutdown that has cost each site money in lost gift store sales, theater tickets and concessions.

The Smithsonian museums, National Gallery of Art and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum all reopened Thursday. Tours resumed at the U.S. Capitol visitor's center, and barriers were removed at the National Mall's memorials.

Smithsonian spokeswoman Linda St. Thomas says the museum complex lost about $2.8 million in revenue from visitors since Oct. 1. She says many tourists plan their trips long in advance and have been disappointed by the closure over the past two weeks.

It's not the busiest tourist season on the National Mall. But the Smithsonian counted 400,000 visitors the week before the shutdown. Officials believe they lost hundreds of thousands of visitors.

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