Arizona businesses have been suffering since the government shutdown closed the Grand Canyon more than two weeks ago.
But this weekend, the park reopened thanks to efforts by the state and the nearby town of Tusayan. Even better, contributions from local businesses doubled the amount of money the town needed to keep the park open.
According to the Durango Herald, the Grand Canyon typically has around 18,000 visitors a day in October.
This image provided by the National Park service shows Arizona Governor Jan Brewer holding a check for $426,500 dollars presented to her by the town of Tusayan, Ariz., as partial payment to the park, Saturday Oct. 12, 2013 at Grand Canyon National Park, Ariz.
The state tourism department provided $400,000, and the rest was supplied by the town of Tusayan and its local businesses. Originally, Tusayan was only supposed to provide $200,000, but on Friday mayor Greg Bryan presented Gov. Brewer with a check for double that amount, totaling $426,000.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Tusayan's town council voted to contribute $200,000, and the town's businesses stepped up to give $226,000 to keep their national treasure -- and their businesses -- up and running.
But with the park costing $93,000 per day to remain open, the deal and the money only lasts a week, after which the park could close again if the shutdown is still in affect.
“We’re thoroughly excited and very thankful that the governor was able to work out a deal,” Mayor Bryan told AZ Central. “It’s not a solution, it’s a patch. We know that going in, and we’re going to continue to keep it working the best we can. If we need to raise some money, we’ll do that.”