Arizona politicians and business leaders have offered to pay to reopen the Grand Canyon.

Up until Thursday, the Interior Department politely rejected the proposals. The department now has changed course, saying it will consider allowing for state and private money to operate national parks that are closed because of the budget battle.

A spokesman for Gov. Jan Brewer, Andrew Wilder, said Arizona has not received official word from the Interior Department. But he says the state would welcome the opportunity to bring back tourists.

Wilder said Arizona cannot pay the federal government's bills indefinitely. But he said the economic impacts of Grand Canyon tourism cannot be ignored.

Grand Canyon visitors pour about $1.3 million into nearby communities daily.