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Arizona wildlife park business jumps during Canyon shutdown

(Facebook Photo)

PHOENIX -- A sign at the entrance to Bearizona with a wolf sleeping reads "While Government Sleeps, We Keep Working."

Bearizona Wildlife Park in Williams has become a busy tourist attraction since Grand Canyon National Park closed. Vanessa Stoffel with Bearizona said business has jumped by 25 percent this week but she knows this can't last.

"Our fear is that, if the shutdown continues for another week or two, people will just wait until the Grand Canyon opens to come to this area," she said.

Stoffel said the shutdown boosting their business isn't cause for celebration: their neighbors to the north in Tusayan are losing tens of thousands of dollars each day of the shutdown.

"This is killing them. They're an hour off of I-40 and it's going to be felt more," Stoffel said.

Meanwhile, Arizona Snowbowl is running chairlifts to the top of the San Francisco Peaks outside of Flagstaff. The Grand Canyon is visible from the sky lift. Adult tickets cost $15.

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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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