We are well into the second week of the federal government shutdown that has caused the closure of national parks and monuments, such as our own Grand Canyon National Park. It has become increasingly frustrating for all of us to turn visitors away from these treasured attractions.
There have been many attempts and collaborative efforts throughout the state to keep the Grand Canyon National Park open. We extend our gratitude to Governor Jan Brewer, Arizona House Speaker Andy Tobin and Arizona Senate President Andy Biggs for drafting a letter to President Barack Obama to request his leadership to immediately fund America’s National Parks – including the Grand Canyon – or, at the very least, make it possible for state and private funding to reopen National Parks as has been done during previous shutdowns and budget shortfalls.
We would also like to acknowledge and thank the efforts of statewide and community leadership, industry partners, such as the Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association, and the public sector in identifying the importance of our national attractions to our state’s economy and their willingness to contribute dollars to re-open it.
At this point in time, these efforts have been rebuffed by the federal government. However, we are doing what we can to work with and support our state’s leadership in their efforts to reopen Arizona’s national parks. Hopefully, these federal issues will be resolved soon. We are also working diligently to help travelers find alternative destinations within Arizona so that they can still enjoy our vibrant attractions.