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Grand Canyon re-opens to tourists

  • Hundreds of tourists wait in the cramped terminal at Grand Canyon Airport to wait their turn for helicopter and plane tours as the only way they could see the Grand Canyon as the entrance to Grand Canyon National Park remains closed to visitors due to the continued federal government shutdown on Friday Oct. 11, 2013, in Tusayan, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

South Dakota and several corporate donors worked out a deal with the National Park Service to reopen Mount Rushmore beginning Monday. Republican Gov. Dennis Daugaard said it will cost $15,200 a day to pay the federal government to run the landmark in the Black Hills. He said he has wired four days' worth of donations.

In New York, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo said his state will pay $61,600 a day to fully fund Park Service personnel and the Statue of Liberty will open Sunday.

In Arizona, Republican Gov. Jan Brewer balked at spending about $112,000 a day for a full reopening of the Grand Canyon. She said a partial reopening would be much cheaper while allowing tourists to visit and businesses to benefit.

"The daily cost difference is enormous, especially without assurances that Arizona will be reimbursed," said Andrew Wilder, a spokesman for Brewer.

In the end, Arizona agreed to pay the Park Service $651,000 to keep the Grand Canyon open for seven days. The $93,000 a day is less than the $112,000 the federal government had said was needed to fund park operations each day.


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