State to keep Grand Canyon open through Oct. 27
PHOENIX - Governor Jan Brewer today announced the state of Arizona will continue funding Grand Canyon National Park in light of the continued federal government shutdown.
"Grand Canyon's importance to Arizona's tourism industry and overall economy cannot be ignored," Brewer said. "While I am pleased the state is able to ensure the Canyon remains open during this critical season, it is well past time for the federal government to end this shutdown and pay its bills. We are doing our job. It's time the President and Congress do theirs."
Last Friday, the governor negotiated an agreement to reopen Grand Canyon for up to at least seven days using state and local monies. Under the terms of the agreement, the State is paying $93,000 per day to the Park Service to fully fund its operations.
Brewer today authorized the use of state dollars from the Arizona Office of Tourism to continue funding the Canyon for an additional nine days, through October 27, if the federal budget stalemate in Washington continues. If the shutdown ends before then, Arizona will be refunded for any unspent days.
Visitors to Arizona's national parks have spent an average of $2.5 million a day during October in recent years and $1.2 million a day at Grand Canyon National Park.
The state will seek support from members of its congressional delegation to approve federal reimbursement of any state dollars expended to fund park operations during the shutdown.