Mount Rushmore is a victim of across the board federal budget cuts known as sequestration. And the timing of the cuts is even more painful ahead of the busy tourism season.
The stone faces of our nation's most influential leaders draw people from around the world to the Black Hills.
"It's interesting. Everyone should see it at least once," tourist Mindy Ryan said.
But it could become more difficult for guests to experience South Dakota's number-one tourist destination because of the federal budget cuts that went into effect Friday.
"Originally they were talking about five percent cuts that might be over three years, and it is now telescoped into seven months," Mount Rushmore Chief of Interpretation Maureen McGee-Ballinger said.
That translates into a 33 percent cut to the monument's equipment and maintenance budget. It also resulted in a hiring-freeze going into tourism season.
"That's particularly problematic because this is the time of year where we hire all of our summer seasonals, so if we can't hire them now that will have impacts later on," McGee-Ballinger said.
If the across-the-board budget cuts aren't resolved soon, McGee-Ballinger says that it could have a real impact on the visitor's experience at Mount Rushmore like visitors Mindy and Rachel Ryan.
"Last time when we were here it was very enjoyable going on the hike with a ranger and learning about the history and what went into it," Mindy said.
"Like, if she hadn't learned all that stuff then we probably wouldn't be back either because we could've just seen it driving up the hill and turned around and driven back down," Rachel said.
But that service could also be on the way out.
"That person won't be out there. We won't have someone out there giving a program, who will take you around and tell you about the area," McGee-Ballinger said.
"It's sad, really. Hopefully they'll figure something out," Mindy said.
A reduction in hours and services at Mount Rushmore would also likely impact the Black Hills economy. A recent report from the National Park Service shows that during the 2011 fiscal year, the monument attracted more than 2 million visitors who spent nearly $75 million in the area.