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U.S. Government Shutdown Cost National Parks and Communities $414 Million

Mar 04, 2014 8:30 am

Skift Take

States that paid to reopen their parks significantly helped their local communities, but it’s a cost that will be borne by the people who weren’t so hard-headed (hello! Congressional Republicans and Sen. Ted Cruz) to be completely to blame.

— Samantha Shankman

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Kane Jamison  / Flickr

A sign for the U.S. National Park Service. Kane Jamison / Flickr


The Obama administration says the government shutdown last fall resulted in nearly 8 million fewer visitors to national parks, costing the parks and surrounding communities an estimated $414 million in lost visitor spending.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said the shutdown was a striking reminder that national parks are a powerful economic engine for local economies across the country.

The report released Monday said five states, including California and Arizona, lost more than $20 million during the 16-day shutdown.

Six states received permission to reopen national parks within their borders using state money. The report said those states generated nearly $10 in visitor spending for every dollar spent. Utah, Arizona, Colorado, New York, South Dakota and Tennessee all reopened parks.

A bill is pending in Congress to reimburse those states.

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