Businesses still struggling despite Grand Canyon reopening - New York News

Businesses still struggling despite Grand Canyon reopening

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PHOENIX -

Once again, tourists are able to see the grandeur of one of Arizona's most iconic landmarks: the Grand Canyon.

The reopening comes after the federal government agreed to allow Arizona to pay to operate the park.

The agreement will help Arizona because tourism around the Grand Canyon brings in money to the state's economy.

But now that the gates are open, are the tour companies seeing the effects?

Several companies are saying they aren't seeing the uptick in business they expected.

A lot of visitors have already canceled their trips and many companies worry it's a trend that is just going to continue.

"Most people who come to Arizona come to see the Grand Canyon," said Dan Blake, general manager of Pink Adventure Tours.

Thousands of visitors are finally seeing the site and hundreds of companies are back in business.

The state's deal with the federal government will keep the park gates open for seven days.

"The deal is an immediate Band-Aid for the next week," said Blake.

Pink Adventures Tours has scrambled to accommodate Grand Canyon visitors during the shutdown.

They're back on schedule now, but worry it won't last.

"Looking down the road, people are going to start canceling their reservations a week or two weeks out. They are going to cancel reservations and that's when we are really going to start to feel impact," said Blake.

Fewer tour vans on the road isn't just bad for tour companies, they say the vendors they rely on aren't getting the usual booming business this time of year either.

"The sandwich makers who feed our guests or the gas stations that we buy our fuel from are going to start to feel this impact a week down the road when people just aren't scheduling right now," said Blake.

Grand Canyon businesses of all sizes are on shaky ground and are unsure if the government shutdown will force the park to close again.

"It's an amazing place and to deny anybody access, whether its someone from the Unites States or Australia, is a horrible thing," said Blake.

The state is paying the federal government about $650,000 to keep the park open this week, but there's no deal on the table and no money has been allotted to keep the park open beyond this week.

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