Budget deadlock results in closing of Grand Canyon

The Associated Press

GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK Grand Canyon National Park will close its gates today for the first time since it opened in 1919 because of the budget shutdown.

Park personnel will put up barricades on almost all park roads at 8 a.m., park spokeswoman Maureen Oltrogge said.

Reservations at Grand Canyon hotels and campgrounds will be canceled, and all concessions and tours in the area will be shuttered. Those camping or staying in park hotels have until tomorrow at 4 p.m. to leave, she said.

Oltrogge said that she didn't know how the private hotel and concession contractors would handle the canceled reservations, some of which were made over a year ago.

State Highway 64, which skirts the south side of the park, will remain open for sightseers, she said.

Facilities in a community in the park will still be open to serve residents, but the town will be closed to visitors.

Some federal employees will be on hand to enforce the closing, but Oltrogge said most will be furloughed.

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