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Updated Jul 21, 2014 - 9:23 am

Despite shutdown, Grand Canyon still earns $476M for Arizona

PHOENIX -- Despite a partial shutdown of the federal government, the Grand Canyon still welcomed 4.5 million visitors last year who spent $476 million near the park, a National Park Service report said.

That spending supported a total of 6,238 jobs. Kristen Jarnagin with the Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association said these are impressive numbers given the park's 15-day closure.

"The communities surrounding the Grand Canyon, like Tusayan, exist because of the park,: she said. "The canyon is vital for jobs, not just in those communities, but all the way from Phoenix to Flagstaff. This impacts people flying in and out of Sky Harbor. They rent cars, and take road trips across the state."

The NPS report shows Saguaro National Park near Tucson had more than 675,000 visitors who spent more than $41 million. Petrified Forest National Park in northeastern Arizona had almost 645,000 visitors who spent $39 million dollars.

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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