State To Keep Grand Canyon Open

October 16, 2013

Even as the U.S. Senate moves toward a deal to re-open the federal government the state of Arizona has announced it will keep the Grand Canyon open for an additional nine days.
 
Gov. Jan Brewer says the canyon’s importance to Arizona’s tourism industry and overall economy cannot be ignored, so it will remain open.

The state last Friday negotiated a deal to keep the canyon open for seven days with state and local money. But it had to let the National Park Service know by the end of the day Wednesday if it planned to continue funding park operations beyond this Friday.

The governor’s office said visitors to Arizona’s national parks have spent an average of $2.5 million a day during October, and in recent years, $1.2 million at Grand Canyon National Park alone.

Arizona is paying $93,000 a day to fully fund park operations, using tourism funds, local money from the Town of Tusayan and private donations to pay the tab.

The state hopes to be reimbursed once the federal government shutdown comes to an end.