Grand Canyon National Park Reopens to Tourists

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FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - The Grand Canyon is welcoming tourists back after Arizona struck a deal with the federal government to reopen the national park.

The park superintendent says crews began removing closure signs, opening restrooms and restocking at 4 a.m. Saturday. The first gate opened just before 6 a.m.

Arizona is paying the National Park Service $651,000 to keep the Grand Canyon open for seven days. The funding includes cash from the state Office of Tourism, the town of Tusayan (too-say-ahn), and private businesses.

Arizona, Utah, Colorado, South Dakota and New York have all agreed to a federal government plan allowing them to foot the bill.

Governors in other states are trying to gauge what would be the bigger economic hit - paying to keep the parks operating or losing the tourist money that flows when the scenic attractions are open.