Government shutdown: Tourists turned away from Montezuma Castle - New York News

Government shutdown: Tourists turned away from Montezuma Castle

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CAMP VERDE, Ariz. -

Here in Arizona, the Grand Canyon is back open, but the state's other national parks are still closed. Right now, this is the best view you'll get of Montezuma Castle, and without binoculars you can't see much.

Arizona has more than 20 national parks and monuments that are now closed.

Even after two weeks, tourists are still showing up hoping to get in, only to be turned away.

"It is disappointing right, it is unfortunate that we can't seem to get our act in order in Washington to take care of this stuff," says Brian Hurst, visiting from Chicago.

"We were going out to Sedona but we were like, Montezuma Castle sounds cool so we stopped -- but I guess not," says Tempe resident Andrew Pierotte.

Park ranger John Reid is one of the few rangers still on duty and has to deliver the bad news.

"Well I am sorry to say that the national monument is closed for the day," says Reid.

Montezuma's Castle typically gets about 1,000 visitors a day.

"So many people this time of year are coming from Europe. From thousands of miles away and spending a lot of money to come here and see all this, and the best I can do is point them in the right direction," says Reid.

A few miles north in McGuireville, tourists are also being turned away from Montezuma Well. Many of them end up at the McGuireville Mini Mart.

"They come in disappointed," says mini mart owner Craig Williams.

Williams says business is actually up thanks to all the frustrated tourists driving by.

"'Well I've come here from Germany and can't get to the well, can't get to the castle. Do you know anywhere else I can go?'" he repeats.

These two from Tempe changed their plans.

"We are going to go up to Sedona and see all the state parks because those are open," says Pierotte.

Because of the shutdown, nationally, the Parks service is missing out on a lot of revenue -- an estimated $450,000 a day.

Arizona will have to spend more cash if the state wants to keep the Grand Canyon open this weekend.

Right now, Arizona is paying $93,000 a day to keep the canyon open.

The state's original agreement keeps the park open until Friday. Governor Brewer will have to decide by Wednesday if the state will spend more money to keep the Grand Canyon open through the weekend.

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