State Officials Hope For A Refund After Keeping Grand Canyon Open

October 18, 2013

The state of Arizona and the other entities that put up money to keep Grand Canyon National Park open during the government shutdown are in line for at least a partial refund. State and local funds kept the park operating for only five days even though they paid for 16 days.

Gubernatorial spokesman Andrew Wilder said the contract with the Park Service requires a refund of unused money. So, a little more than $1 million should be returned. He said $283,000 of that will go to Tusayan and the private businesses that contributed.

Town manager Will Wright says the local funds will be prorated.

“We have the contribution list,” Wright said. “We'll put a percentage by it, each contributor, and whatever amount we get back, that'll be the percent they get back.”

 The state money will go back into the tourism promotion fund, but Gov. Jan Brewer is still hoping to get back the original $465,000 that was put up, arguing park operations were always a federal responsibility. That would take an act of Congress.