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Tour companies struggling due to Mauna Kea protest

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii (AP) — Hawaii tour companies are beginning to experience negative effects from the protest that has blocked access to the state’s highest volcano.

West Hawaii Today reported Tuesday that tour companies near Mauna Kea are restructuring and selling off equipment as the closure of its access road continues.

Protesters who oppose the Thirty Meter Telescope planned on Mauna Kea have blocked the road to the mountain’s summit since July.

Some Native Hawaiians oppose building the observatory because they believe the summit is sacred.

Eight companies licensed to ferry guests to the summit for sunset, stargazing and educational excursions say they have cut employee numbers and reduced trips.

Mauna Kea Summit Adventures posted a notice Friday announcing a surplus equipment sale.

Hawaii Forest & Trail says it is in the process of restructuring.