Shutdown 2013: Utah Spends $1.7 Million to Reopen National Parks

Skift Take

The reopening comes with a high price tag, but Utah is gaining tourists from nearby states and an unexpected boost of media exposure.

— Samantha Shankman

Utah state officials say four of the five national parks are reopening Friday after 11 days of being closed due to the partial government shutdown.

Zion National Park was the first to reopen Friday morning, with Bryce, Arches and Capitol Reef set to open later Friday afternoon. Gov. Herbert’s office said that the Natural Bridges national monument is also reopening Friday.

Canyonlands will reopen Saturday morning.

More than 400 national parks, recreation areas and monuments have been closed since Oct. 1 due to the partial government shutdown.

So far, Utah is the only state to take the Obama administration up on its offer to let states to reopen their national parks.

Utah sent $1.65 million to the U.S. government — enough money to keep the state’s national parks open for 10 days.

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