Utah has come up with a solution to their $100 million October crisis caused by the government shutdown, and it is something other states would do well to consider as well, if they stand to gain more financially than they have to lose by funding the reopening of their parks for a little while.
Utah's national parks bring in approximately $100 million in revenue during the month of October, so it is in their best interest to pay the National Park Service approximately $167,000 a day to reopen the parks, according to officials cited by CNN.com on Oct. 11.
Congress may be reaching a solution to the government shutdown as early as Friday, with the House making a proposal to Pres. Obama for a short-term solution, but in the meantime, Utah is willing to pay a little more than $1 million to the NPS to allow their parks to go ahead and reopen for at least 10 days.
With the state initiating a deal that prevents the federal government from having to fund the parks during a period when they can't do so, based upon the shutdown law, Utah is able to recapture its tourist dollars during the crucial time of the year, despite other national parks being closed.
It's a win-win for all, since the state will see millions of dollars in revenue and it will only spend a fraction of that to operate the tourist attractions. And that begs the question: Why is the federal government running each state's parks in the first place if the money is going to the state anyway?
And if Utah is generating millions of dollars in money for the state through its parks, then surely other states are drawing sizable crowds that could help each state fund its own park too. So why do the parks have to be overseen by the federal government, which can only manage to shutdown operations during the more critical times for visitors?