Grand Canyon National Park reopened Saturday, and will remain open at least through Friday, with funding from the state of Arizona.
Responding to the economic impacts that the park closures are having on many communities and local businesses, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced Thursday that she would consider agreements with governors who indicate an interest and ability to fully fund National Park Service personnel to re-open national parks in their states.
“This is a practical and temporary solution that will lessen the pain for some businesses and communities in Arizona during this shutdown,” said the Interior secretary. “We want to re-open all of our national parks as quickly possible for everyone to enjoy and call on Congress to pass a clean continuing resolution to open the government.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Arizona will donate funds to the Park Service for the sole purpose of enabling Park Service employees to re-open and manage Grand Canyon National Park. The agreement funds Grand Canyon for a period of seven days, through Friday, October 18, at the donated amount of $651,000.
Entrances to Grand Canyon were to open to the public beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday. These include the North Rim Entrance Station, the Desert View Entrance Station, and the South Rim Entrance Station. Visitors should be aware that during the first 48 hours many services will be limited.
As stated in the October 7 announcement of the River Permits Accommodation Plan, permittees who had launch dates three days prior to opening and including opening day, may choose to get a refund for permit fees and reschedule. River permit holders with the current launch date will have priority to launch on their scheduled date.
Xanterra South Rim, LLC and Delaware North Companies, Inc. will re-open concessions operated services with limited amenities for the first 48 hours. Guests with hotel reservations should contact Xanterra South Rim directly at 928-638-2631.
The North Rim will re-open for day use with limited visitor services available. The Grand Canyon Lodge operated by Forever Resorts will also re-open with limited guest services; individuals with lodge reservations should contact Forever Resorts 877-386-4383.