The nation’s state parks, closed to the government shutdown, are beginning to reopen through deals between state governors and the Department of the Interior. Several parks in Utah will partially reopen this weekend after a deal was reached for the state to loan the needed funds to the federal government, and now a deal has been struck to reopen Mount Rushmore.
South Dakota will reopen the monument Monday thanks to a number of private donors. The Argus Leader reports:
South Dakota has agreed to pay the full daily cost of operating the facility, $15,200. But at least at first, taxpayers won’t be covering the cost.
The state has lined up private partners who have each agreed to “sponsor” a day with a $15,200 donation. As of this afternoon, 14 donors have agreed to make such a contribution.
They include the Mount Rushmore Society, Wall Drug, the Rapid City Convention and Visitors Bureau, Sanford Health and Avera Health.
Re: Rushmore, from SD press release (I still get 'em!): National Park Service will charge the state $15,200 per day to operate the monument.
— Nomaan Merchant (@NomaanMerchant) October 11, 2013
That seems like a lot of money to move some traffic cones, but there must be more to reopening the giant, open-air monument than that.
Breaking news…Mt Rushmore to open? What is wrong with us? Sad that it even MAKES NEWS!!! #WeAreIdiots
— Wayne Pauli (@waynepauli) October 11, 2013