UPDATE: Feb 7, 2014. Obama backs Grand Canyon repayment but wants Congress' okay. Source: http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/news/2014/02/06/obama-backs-grand-canyon-repayment-but.html
UPDATE: The National Park Service has entered into an agreement with the state of Arizona to temporarily re-open the Grand Canyon. The agreement opens the park for 7 days, starting October 12 and ending October 18, at a cost of $650,000. Arizona will donate the needed funds to the National Park Service to re-open the park. Visitors should expect services within the first 48 hours to be limited. Questions about lodging reservations can be answered by Xanterra Resorts at 928-638-2631.
Grand Canyon National Park shut its doors on October 1 as the mandatory response after Congress missed the deadline to prevent a partial government shutdown. Park services and recreational programs are indefinitely halted.
In October, the Grand Canyon sees roughly 18,000 visitors each day. It's one of the busiest months before the winter off-season hits. Among those turned away at the closed gate were the five Bouquet brothers, ages 59 to 73, who were traveling to the Grand Canyon from Minnesota.
"We were just getting together to tour the national parks, while we could still do it," said John Bouquet. "We're disappointed."
With tourists changing their vacation plans, fewer dollars will stream into the area. The past two Octobers, visitors spent an average of $1.2 million daily.
"It's a horrible impact right now," Kevin Dahl, senior program manager at the National Parks Conservation Association's Arizona office, told USA Today. "It's our history. It's our culture. It's our beautiful national landscape."
Tell Congress you want the parks to reopen!