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Utah governor to reopen parks, despite shutdown

- The Washington Times - Friday, October 11, 2013

The governor of Utah said he's found a loophole to dodge the federal government's shutdown order and will open the parts in the state this weekend.

It's all about the money, it seems.

"Utah agrees to pay the National Park Service up to $1.67 million — $166,572 per day — to reopen eight national sites in Utah for up to 10 days," a press statement from Gov. Gary Herbert's office stated. "If the federal government shutdown ends before then, the state will receive a refund of unused monies."

Utah has five national parks and three nationally operated tourist sites. October is a particularly profitable month for the state; the favorable weather attracts scores of tourists, CNN reported. Officials guess they bring in about $100 million in tourism dollars that month alone.

The deal forged between Utah and federal parks authorities means Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and Zion national park sites will all reopen.

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