Columbia Sportswear slams government shutdown — 'This is not about politics,' says CEO

  • Columbia Sportswear wants the shutdown ended to protect the nation's parks, CEO Tim Boyle says.
  • The retailer took out an ad in The Washington Post on Friday that said, "Make America's parks open again."
  • "This is not about which political party is more in favor of the outdoors," says Boyle.

Columbia Sportswear is speaking out against the partial government shutdown, but its CEO told CNBC on Monday that it isn't about politics — it's about protecting the nation's parks.

The retailer, whose business is predicated on people being able to enjoy the outdoors, took out an ad in The Washington Post on Friday that said, "Make America's parks open again."

CEO Tim Boyle said it's the first time the company has made an investment like this.

"It's not politically motivated, frankly. This is about … allowing access and protecting the assets that we have invested in so heavily as a country. This is not about which political party is more in favor of the outdoors," he said in an interview with "Closing Bell."

The shutdown, now in its 24th day, is the longest in U.S. history. President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats are locked in a battle over whether to include funding for Trump's border wall in a spending package.

While the national parks haven't been ordered closed because of the shutdown, some have opted to shut due to lack of staffing. Others have remained open with little or no staff.

The result has been a buildup of trash, among other problems.

At Joshua Tree National Park in California, some of its signature Joshua trees were destroyed. Officials said last week they were able to avert a temporary closure of the park by utilizing revenue generated by recreation fees. They said the park would immediately bring back staff to address "sanitation issues," as well as to "ensure the protection of park resources and mitigate the some of the damage that has occurred during the lapse of appropriations."

Boyle said Columbia Sportswear, which spent $80,000 on the one-time ad, said the feedback has been "overwhelmingly positive."

"We want both sides to come together to get this solved and get parks open again," he said.

And while the shutdown hasn't had a direct effect on the company's bottom line, that could change.

"We would expect that people who want to go outdoors need apparel and need footwear to enjoy the outdoors and we expect that over time this will definitely have an impact," said Boyle.

— Reuters contributed to this report.