TUSAYAN, Ariz. (AP) — Colorado's governor has struck a deal with federal officials to reopen one of its national parks, becoming the second state to accept an offer to send money to the federal government to save lucrative tourist seasons.
Federal officials announced Friday that Colorado has agreed to pay about $360,000 to reopen Rocky Mountain National Park through Oct. 20.
The Obama administration on Thursday announced it would allow states to foot the bill for reopening parks.
Utah was the first taker, with Gov. Gary Herbert wiring $1.67 million to federal officials to temporarily reopen five national parks and other national park units by Saturday.
Interior Department spokesman Blake Androff said the government does not plan to reimburse states that pay to reopen parks. Costs could run into the millions of dollars.
Figures compiled by a coalition of retired park service workers indicate that some 700,000 people a day would have been visiting the 401 national park units and that the surrounding areas are losing $76 million in visitor spending daily.
The park service said it is losing $450,000 per day in revenue from entrance fees and other in-park expenditures, such as campground fees and boat rentals.
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