Towns, States Are Ponying Up to Keep National Parks Open


Tamara Audi and Caroline Porter
Wall Street Journal
October 5, 2013

The Arizona town of Tusayan, on the southern rim of the Grand Canyon, has 558 residents and 1,000 hotel rooms. And by Friday, it had $325,000 to reopen temporarily shuttered Grand Canyon National Park.

“The reason we exist is the Grand Canyon National Park. This closure is devastating,” said Greg Bryan, Tusayan’s mayor and the owner of a Best Western hotel. The town is offering to fund a partial reopening of the park that would allow visitors to drive through on a main road and stop at overlooks.

As the federal-government shutdown entered its fifth day Saturday, state and local governments were searching for ways to keep attractions open, especially in places where local economies largely depend on the parks. Some are willing to pay to keep the parks going during these final crucial weeks of prime tourist season, before winter sets in.

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