A starry, starry night photo leads to a contest victory and a surprise for the professionals.
Sequester amounts to longer lines at Grand Canyon Park entrances this summer
Officials say visitors will see long lines at Grand Canyon National Park entrances this summer because of federal budget cuts. Last month, all national parks were ordered to cut their budgets by 5 percent this year under the federal sequestration program. That means Grand Canyon is losing $1 million just as tourism season hits full speed in the warm weather with almost 25,000 visitors a day.
Grand Canyon spokeswoman Maureen Oltrogge said the park is losing 25 workers this summer.
"We’re not going to, with limited staff, keep all of the gates open and entrances fully staffed. During the spring break we started to see those lines develop," Oltrogge said. "So please just be patient with us. We will get you in quickly as we can, we’re doing our best."
Most of the workers who left the park under the sequester chose to retire early.
Oltrogge said park maintenance also will see cuts, with restrooms and other public amenities getting cleaned less often.