/ Modified oct 16, 2013 11:15 a.m.

Brewer Will Continue to Use State Money to Keep Grand Canyon Open

National park will remain open for another 9 days; AZ governor had until Weds to make decision, send funds to fed gov.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer will continue to use state money to keep the Grand Canyon National Park open an additional nine days, said a press release from the governor's office Wednesday.

The park will be open through Oct. 27, in the midst of the federal government shutdown.

However, if the shutdown ends prior to then, the state will be refunded for any unspent days, the press release explained.

"Grand Canyon's importance to Arizona's tourism industry and overall economy cannot be ignored," Brewer said in her statement. "While I am pleased the state is able to ensure the canyon remains open during this critical season, it is well past time for the federal government to end this shutdown and pay its bills. We are doing our jobs. It's time the president and Congress do theirs."

The decision came as Brewer faced a deadline that was part of an agreement she struck with the federal government last week to reopen the park. The deal required Brewer to give the park two days' notice if she wants it to remain open, which meant she needed to decide Wednesday, The Associated Press reported.

Arizona is paying $93,000 a day to keep the canyon open during the government shutdown.

Businesses that rely on the canyon for tourist dollars were hurt during the 11 day closure that ended Saturday.

Visitors to Arizona's national parks have spent about $2.5 million per day during October in past years, with $1.2 million of that in tourism to the Grand Canyon alone.

The state will seek support from members of its congressional delegation to authorize federal reimbursement of state funds spent for park operations during the shutdown, the press release said.

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