Utah made $10 for every $1 it spent to reopen the parks highlighting the local economic engines that the U.S. government shut down last fall. The silver lining is the appreciation the parks have enjoyed in the aftermath.
The attitude in Congress seems to be: Hey, lets solve the budget impasses by taxing travelers some more. After all, they aren't organized, and we can sneak these new taxes through. But if air travel is a stimulator of the economy, then Congress may be shooting itself in the foot.
What the Grand Canyon lost in tourism revenues, it gained in national news coverage and a boost in public awareness.
The National Park Service took reigns of the Grand Canyon before the state's money was exhausted, but legislators are now fighting for the full amount and could be waiting for a long time.
If Congressional budget hawks were hoping to trim expenses by shutting down the federal government and furloughing workers, in the case of the Grand Canyon they just managed to have state government foot the bill awhile only to be compensated later. Makes lots of sense.
People who initially downplayed the impact of the partial federal government shutdown were off base, and the impact on Hawaii tourism is a case in point.
The government shutdown incapacitated tourism economies around the country, but towns near Yosemite did not have even one tourist to spare after an end-of-summer wildfire kept visitors away.
White House tours for the public were a victim of sequestration earlier this year. They are making a comeback now on a reduced schedule, but their future is a sketchy as the prospects of Republicans and Democrats coming to an agreement on the next budget deal.
The uncertainty of which way the wind will blow in Washington over the next four months will keep businesses from diving headlong into doing business again. And that's not good.
The silver lining of the shutdown is the attention and appreciation that both Americans and visitors felt for the national parks, some of the country's most famous and beautiful attractions.