Business owners protest Grand Canyon closure - Fox 2 News Headlines

Business owners protest Grand Canyon closure

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GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, Ariz. - As the government shutdown continues, people gathered outside of the Grand Canyon National Park to protest -- saying furloughed workers are hurting financially and so are the businesses surrounding the Canyon that rely on tourism.

The group hopes their presence will encourage the reopening of the Grand Canyon, but park rangers say their hands are tied and only the U.S. Congress can give the okay to open the gates.

"It's been devastating. We're experiencing an exuberant amount of cancellations per day. It's been devastating. It's been devastating to the staff here both in Tusayan and inside Grand Canyon National Park, the MPS staff, the concessionaire staff, the grocery store staff. Everybody! It's been quite devastating..." said Clarinda Vail.

Grand Canyon Superintendent David Uberuaga said, "I appreciate your earnest voice in trying to affect change and trying to make a difference and I think this is part of the political process to raise our voices and help you understand the situation we're in."

The state of Arizona and the town of Tusayan have offered to pay to partially open the park, but the feds have rejected that plan.

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