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Ducey says Grand Canyon will stay open if government shuts down

FILE - This Feb. 22, 2005 photo shows the North Rim of Grand Canyon in Arizona. (AP Photo/Rick Hossman,File)

PHOENIX – Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey promised Friday that Grand Canyon National Park would not shut its gates should the federal government shut down.

“The Grand Canyon will not close on our watch. Period,” Ducey said in a statement Friday. “If Washington, D.C. won’t function, Arizona will.”

Ducey said the state has partnered with the National Park Service, Arizona State Parks and Trails and the Arizona Office of Tourism to keep the popular tourist attraction open.

The Grand Canyon National Park hosts nearly 6 million tourists annually from all over the world, and has become an economic staple for rural communities in northern Arizona.

The concerns of a government shutdown come after Democrats and Republicans failed to come to an agreement on Thursday, reverting to a decision that extended the voting deadline to Friday.

Still, numerous Democrats have refused to vote without other demands being met. Should an agreement not be met, the federal government will shut down at midnight Friday.

The small community of Tusayan, Ariz., near the south entrance of the park, has also committed to remain open if a shutdown occurs. Lodges, food, beverage and retail outlets near the town will all remain open, as well as hiking trails and campsites.

“Don’t change your travel plans, because Arizona is open for business regardless of what happens back in Congress,” Ducey said.

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