Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Arizona Seeking to Reopen, Run Grand Canyon

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Arizona Seeking to Reopen, Run Grand Canyon

Article excerpt

Gov. Fife Symington summoned National Guard troops to the Grand Canyon Friday to try to get President Bill Clinton to let the state reopen its top tourist attraction.

The Interior Department at first rejected his offer, citing legal complications, but then agreed to hold more talks Monday - if the state would pay all the costs to run the park.

The governor was greeted at a tiny airport outside the park entrance by Rob Arnberger, the park's superintendent, who carried a letter from the department rejecting the governor's first offer to run the park with state workers. The two men met for a hour to discuss the issue.

Afterward, Symington said the letter suggested that the state might offer to pay the full cost of running the park. The department agreed to hold talks on this matter Monday.

He also proposed a partial solution: Reopen Mather Point, a huge overlook on the canyon's South Rim.

The park, which gets some 5 million visitors a year, was nearly deserted after being closed Thursday for the first time in its 76-year history. …

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