ST. GEORGE — As a partial shutdown of the federal government continues well into its second week, local officials are working to keep Zion National Park open for at least another week.
As many federally managed parks have been forced to close their boundaries to all visitors, Zion has remained partially operational thanks to funding from the state of Utah and the Zion Forever Project. However, that funding runs out Saturday.
Assuming the shutdown continues past Saturday, St. George Mayor Jon Pike announced Thursday that plans are in place to keep the park partially operational for an additional week — until Jan. 12.
The cost to keep the park operational on a “bare-bones” level will be split four ways among the city, Washington County, the Utah Office of Tourism and continuing support from the nonprofit Zion Forever Project.
“We have said, ‘Look, this is significant for us,’” Pike said. “It’s important to us to make sure that we maintain at least some basic level to keep that park open.”