Utah To Reopen National Parks By The Weekend

Bryce Canyon National Park Utah
James Gordon, Flickr

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.

Snow Brings Travel Misery To US And UK

de-icing the wingsEverybody knows that the weather in much of the US is really rotten right now. Frigid, icy, and wet, some areas of upstate New York have already topped 100 inches of snow since Sunday — and the end is not in sight. Moreover, at O’Hare, more than 140 flights were canceled this week. The unreal snowfall and airport closures aren’t restricted to the US, however. The UK is getting sacked, too.

Throughout southern England, the Midlands, Wales, and Northern Ireland, heavy snowfall has blanketed the area, and thousands of airline passengers have had their flights delayed or canceled. In fact, at least five airports in the south of England were forced to delay flights and suspend departures this week. Moreover, the region’s train systems have come to a stand-still. The country, apparently, is crippled. According to David Frost, Director-General of the British Chambers of Commerce, “It is expected that the lateness and loss of work hours caused by transport disruptions will cost the British economy up to £400 million… This situation highlights the need for a real change in the current UK travel infrastructure.”

Wow. Not to rub it in, but I’m sitting in shorts and flip-flops on my back porch.

[Photo: gunbot]