PHOENIX -- The closure of the Grand Canyon National Park is hammering the economies of Tusayan, Page, Williams and others that rely on tourism as their lifeblood.
Arizona House Speaker Andy Tobin said the state -- along with private donations -- could foot the $500,000 cost that it would take to reopen the canyon through the month of October but the federal government won't consider it.
"We'd like to step in and get the Grand Canyon reopened. This is critical to Arizona's economy and they're refusing to take private or public dollars."
Tobin also lashed out at Senate Democrats and President Barack Obama.
"They're more interested in keeping Obamacare than opening up our parks," he said. "The message is loud and clear and I can't understand how they can do this to a state. I mean really? For one year we can't get a reprieve from Obamacare? They're holding our state hostage."
Tobin said the impact of the closure isn't limited to the communities surrounding the Grand Canyon. It has a ripple effect that could seriously dent Arizona's economy just when it is coming back strong from the recession.
"People don't just go to the Grand Canyon, they come to the Valley and other parts of the state," he said. "I'm very nervous about this and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't. I live in rural Arizona and tourism is huge. I couldn't be more disgusted. It's one punch after another when it comes to Washington, D.C."
- Bruce: Uh, yay? Feds return to work
- Sen. Flake: Nobody wanted to see US default
- Parties bicker over blame for parks shutdown
- Brewer: State will fund Grand Canyon again
- Ariz. House GOP: Easier to work with Clinton
- Canyon closure benefited other sites
- Border agents' rep worries about retention
- Monument closing hits Coolidge hard
- Shutdown idles workers at bottom of Canyon
- Hope, skepticism linger about parks
- House GOP, White House seek end to fight
- Feds to let states pay to open parks
- St. James: Shut 'er down for good! Please!
- Dozer: Long shutdown will cost Boehner
- McMahon: If broken, why not recall it?
- Town OKs funds to try to reopen Canyon
- Federal government shut down over budget
- Shutdown impacts thousands in Arizona
- Brewer rejected in offer to reopen Canyon
- State not allowed to fund Canyon reopening
- Grand Canyon closes as part of fed shutdown
- Furloughed workers protest at Luke AFB
- Some immigration courts closed in Arizona
- More than 400 furloughed at Luke AFB
- Stanton: Gov't shutdown no time for politics
- Rep. Salmon requests suspended pay
- Brewer: Arizona can't bail out federal gov't
- Sen. Jeff Flake tweets about shutdown
- Bruce: Lots of 'non-essential' employees
- Brewer warns of shutdown-related problems
- Arizona staffers to work through shutdown
- TTT: Wrong people paying for shutdown
- Navajo Nation parks open during shutdown
- Timeline: Congress' path to federal shutdown
- Despite shutdown, lawmakers still get check
- Obama's unlikely ally: big business
- WW: Don't let shutdown ruin fall plans
- IRS: No tax refunds in shutdown
- Gov't shutdown closes parks, monuments
- Gov't shutdown's hit magnified for tribes
- Shutdown leaves thousands in DC in limbo
- Vets pass barriers at closed WWII Memorial
- Colbert uses 'Breaking' to mock shutdown
- Obama hits 'ideological crusade' in shutdown
- Obama shortens Asia trip due to shutdown
- Businesses worry about prolonged shutdown
- World fears economic shutdown ripple
- Are founders to blame for shutdown?
- US budget deadlock spooks investors
- King: Cruz GOPers want to 'hijack' GOP
- Conservative group airing ads on shutdown
- Stop being stupid, voters tweet to Congress
- Impasse leads to gov't shutdown (PICS)
- Dignity Health World Class People. World Class Company. Excellent care, delivered with compassion, for all in need.
- Eyes on Education A view of Arizona's education system from all angles.