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States Pay for Some Parks and Monuments to Reopen
WASHINGTON (CBS) -- On Columbus Day the partial government shutdown has forced national parks across the country to close. But, a number of them are re-opening for the holiday thanks to the efforts of state governments. Jericka Duncan explains.
Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota reopens Monday. State lawmakers and private partners have agreed to pay the 15,000 dollars a day it costs to keep the tourist destination running. It's the latest national memorial to welcome back visitors amid a government shutdown that's entering its third week.
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer says "we have reopened the Grand Canyon." The state of Arizona sent the National Park Service $650,000 so visitors can enjoy the Grand Canyon for one week. Rangers estimate the park alone has lost more than a million dollars a day because of the shutdown.
In New York, ferries started carrying tourist back to the Statue of Liberty Sunday Morning. "I'm super excited because we wanted to see it for such a long time and now we're finally here," says a tourist from South Africa.
At a price tag of about $61,000 per day, the iconic symbol will be open to the public through at least Thursday. Surrounding businesses that rely heavily on tourists are pleased with the decision, "business is bad when the statue closes down. basically everything closes".
Until the government is open, some states will continue to pay the bill, hopeful that the federal government will pay them back later. A spokesman for the National Park Service said it continues to call on Congress to act swiftly so that it can reopen all 401 national parks.
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