We’re going on two weeks of government shutdown, with tourists hoping to see national parks having to sneak in or go home. Thousands of park workers have been furloughed and local businesses who generate income from tourism are feeling the pinch. Several U.S. states are taking matters into their own hands, effectively paying the federal government so that they can reopen.
The status as of today:
Arizona: It’s costing $651,000 to open the Grand Canyon for a week, though no money is allotted past that time and some local businesses worry it won’t help them in the long run.
Colorado: Over 10,000 visitors went out the Rocky Mountain National Park this weekend after the state reached an agreement to pay over $40,000 per day to keep it open.
New York: The Statue of Liberty re-opened yesterday, costing New York $61,000 per day out of its tourism budget — but visitors generate an estimated $350,000 daily.
South Dakota: Mount Rushmore will cost over $15,000 a day to reopen, with corporate donors helping the state open the park again today.
Utah: 8 attractions will reopen today, including Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park, at a cost of $166,000 per day.
See the status of all the national parks here.
There’s finally a bit of good news for travelers impacted by the Federal Government shutdown with the announcement that Utah will reopen five of its national parks despite the ongoing closures around the country.
Utah made a deal with the government to pay to keep its parks open. The state will cough up more than $166,000 a day for up to 10 days for the privilege, with the money going to the National Park Service.
In total, eight Utah attractions will reopen to visitors. This includes five national parks, namely Bryce Canyon, Zion, Capitol Reef, Arches, and Canyonlands National Park. In addition, the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, as well as the Cedar Breaks and Natural Bridges national monuments will once again welcome tourists.As we’ve mentioned before, the shutdown hasn’t stopped some visitors from sneaking into the parks, with a number of tourists caught jumping the fences as Grand Canyon and Zion National Parks. The reopening of the parks will ensure that visitors are able to get inside and that they pay to do so – a key factor behind the state’s decision to go against the shutdown.
Utah’s Governor says the state’s national parks are fundamental to the local economy and the closures had come at a particularly bad time. Good weather tends to draw large crowds in October, meaning the parks usually earn about $100 million during this month alone.
Utah’s national parks will reopen by Saturday.
Not allowed to go where you want to on account of the government shutdown? That doesn’t pose a problem for some. Because hey, if you’ve traveled far to see a certain landmark, you’re going to do everything in your power to see it. Or at least that is the thought pattern of the people who have been sneaking into Grand Canyon National Park recently. May we remind you that such behavior is in fact illegal.
Nearly two dozen people have been issued citations for entering the park; you see the government and the National Parks can get shut down, but someone will still be employed to get you in trouble when you make an attempt at entering.Some of the people that snuck in were even attempting rim-to-rim hikes, obviously dangerous if there aren’t any rangers to go to if you find yourself in a questionable situation.
The Grand Canyon isn’t the only place people have been trespassing. In Zion National Park in Utah, 16 hikers jumped the fence in protest of the shutdown. And then there are the people that unwillingly break the rules, like the runner who says he was fined $100 for working out on a trail in Valley Forge National Historic Park. He had parked his car in a parking lot where there was no barrier or sign, but was fined anyway.
As for Grand Canyon National Park? Law enforcement officers are patrolling the area on the lookout for more trespassers. Consider yourself warned.
Okay, today’s stunning, color photo isn’t actually from many years ago — it was taken in 2011. However, the subject of the photo was most notable in the early 1900s. The Union Pacific Depot opened in 1909, and provided rail services for the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake City Railroad. It served as Salt Lake City’s railroad transportation center well into the 1970s.
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Dinosaur lovers will be flocking to the University of Utah in Salt Lake City to check out a new discovery, a big-nosed, horned-faced dinosaur found in what is now Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Here’s some stats about this new species, now named Nasutoceratops titusi:
- It grew 15 feet long and weighed 2 1/2 tons.
- Its skull alone is approximately 4.9 feet in length.
- It roamed what is now Utah approximately 76 million years ago.
- It had long, curved and forward-pointing horns over the eyes.
- It lived in a swampy and subtropical environment.
- It was part of the same family as the Triceratops.
The dinosaur’s bones will be permanently housed and displayed at the university. But if you are a budding paleontologist looking to see other collections of dinosaur bones and fossils, consider scoping out Dinosaur National Park in Utah and Colorado, Dinosaur State Park in Connecticut or the Wyoming Dinosaur Center.