One for the books: Grand Canyon welcomes record 6 million visitors

Dec 13, 2016, 12:41 PM | Updated: 12:42 pm
(Cronkite News Photo/Sophia Kunthara)...
(Cronkite News Photo/Sophia Kunthara)
(Cronkite News Photo/Sophia Kunthara)

PHOENIX — The Grand Canyon is millions of years old, but it recorded a first on Monday: The 6-millionth person to visit the park this year.

The National Park Service said the Johnson family from Las Vegas were the people that put the Canyon over the 6 million visitors mark. The family was greeted at the park’s south entrance as part of a small celebration.

“At first I didn’t think it was real but I’m really happy we’re the six millionth (person),” Sophia Johnson said in a press release.

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Last year, the park welcomed 5,520,736 visitors through its gates. Considering the 6 million figure was topped a few weeks before the end of the year, officials are projecting about a 9 percent rise in annual attendance.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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One for the books: Grand Canyon welcomes record 6 million visitors