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Sequester will affect Grand Canyon visitors

PHOENIX -- The Grand Canyon National Park had almost 4.5 million visitors last year and those visitors won't have to look hard to see the impact of the sequester.

Maureen Oltrogee with the National Park Service said visitors can expect to see closed trails and dirtier bathrooms and campgrounds.

"Obviously the busier the park gets and the less staff we have, the more chances of longer lines getting into the park."

The canyon is getting into the busy season and, for now, won't be able to hire up the extra seasonal help.

"We won't have the extra staff that we need as we're gearing up at the entrance stations," said Oltrogee. "If we can't open up all of the gates and stacking lanes, that could delay people getting into the park."

Winter could add to the challenge. A major snowstorm could mean it will take longer to get the roads cleared.

A Michigan State University study said Grand Canyon visitors spent almost $500 million in 2011.

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About the Author


Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.

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