Utah Tourism Lost $30 million in Shutdown
As a result of this month’s federal government shutdown, Utah’s revenue from tourism is down $30 million, according to the governor’s office.
When the state’s five national parks were closed for 10 days starting Oct. 1, hotels, retailers, tour groups and other tourism-dependent businesses were hit hard during what is typically one of the busiest times of year, The Spectrum of St. George reported.
The shutdown left usually bustling tourism towns like Springdale largely empty, and Juliette Tennert, chief economist with the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget, told the Associated Press that the lost time added up to about $30 million in lost revenue, mostly from the tourism sector.
Ten days into the shutdown, Gov. Gary Herbert was the first of several governors to accept on an offer by President Barack Obama’s administration that allowed states to finance the reopening of national parks in their jurisdiction.
Utah lawmakers approved $1.67 million in reserve funds to reopen the parks and three monuments. The shutdown lasted another six days, and the federal government repaid Utah $666,000 in unused funds.
“In contrast to the dysfunction in Washington, D.C., the state of Utah has again demonstrated our ability to come together and provide critical stability for our recovering economy,” Herbert said of the effort.
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