Report: Paying to reopen parks paid off for Utah

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A new report from the National Park Service suggests Utah's decision to use state money to reopen its national parks during last fall's partial government shutdown paid off.

The report shows Utah paid the U.S. government nearly $1 million to reopen nine parks, monuments and recreation areas for six days until the shutdown ended.

During that time, there were 154,000 visits that led to an estimated $9.95 million in visitor spending. That includes money spent on gas, lodging, food and at outfitters in communities within 60 miles of the parks.

The report estimates the state lost more than $3 million in visitor spending during the first 10 days of the shutdown in each of the surrounding areas near Arches, Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.

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