Statue of Liberty, Grand Canyon to reopen Saturday

Oct. 11, 2013 at 8:32 PM
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NEW YORK, Oct. 11 (UPI) -- The governors of New York and Arizona said Friday they've reached agreements with the U.S. government to reopen the Statue of Liberty and the Grand Canyon.

New York state will pay $62,000 per day so National Park Service can operate the Statue of Liberty during the federal government shutdown, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday, The New York Times reported.

Meanwhile, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer tweeted: "Great news! I've just negotiated a deal for #AZ to fully reopen @GrandCanyonNPS tomorrow!"

Utah's five national parks will reopen after the state agreed to use its own money to operate them during the federal government shutdown, officials said earlier.

The Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and Zion national parks, along with two national monuments and a national recreation area, are to open Saturday, Republican Gov. Gary Herbert said.

"Come on down to southern Utah. The parks are open in Utah," he said after signing a deal with U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell.

The deal is expensive, Herbert Deputy Chief of Staff Ally Isom told USA Today.

Zion National Park alone costs $50,000 a day to operate, she said.

But the park's closure since the shutdown started Oct. 1 has cost nearly $3.5 million to the local economy and 72,000 visitors have been kept away, a report from the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees indicates.

The Interior Department explained the state's payments would be viewed as a donation and would not be reimbursed unless Congress passed legislation to do so.

Jewell has also spoken with officials from Colorado, South Dakota and Wyoming about reopening their shuttered national parks with state and donated funds. Those talks have so far not led to a deal like Utah's.

Republican South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard offered to pay for a partial reopening of the Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

He proposed letting visitors view the iconic sculpture of Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore near Keystone while keeping the monument's gift shop, restaurant and museum closed.

Jewell told Daugaard Thursday South Dakota could open the memorial with its money but would have to open the monument in its entirety, and National Park Service employees would need to be used, Daugaard spokesman Tony Venhuizen told USA Today.

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