8:55am

Fri October 18, 2013
Government Shutdown

Colorado May Be Out Money Used To Reopen National Park

The end of the government shutdown was welcome news for visitors to Rocky Mountain National Park and other popular tourist destinations across the country. 

Colorado, and other states that rely on major national parks for tourism, struck a bargain with the Department of the Interior to reopen parks using state funds. Colorado doled out $362,700 from the state wallet for Rocky Mountain National Park.

However, the Interior Department says Congress will have to decide whether to repay Colorado and other states that decided to reopen national parks during the partial government shutdown. 

The Denver Post is reporting that the national parks apparently aren't covered by language in the final spending bill passed late Thursday that says the government will reimburse states for costs incurred for continuing federal programs during the shutdown.

Colorado agreed to pay the $40,000 a day needed to operate Rocky Mountain National Park and pay its employees during the shutdown. It’s not clear now if the state will be able to recoup those expenses. 

The town of Estes Park and other areas around Rocky Mountain National Park were hit especially hard by the 16-day shutdown, which came right on the heels of the devastating September floods and at the beginning of the fall tourism season.