Statue of Liberty reopens for tourists

By Efrosini Costa

Statue of Liberty reopens for tourists
Two weeks after the iconic New York landmark was forced to close amidst a US government shutdown, the Statue of Liberty has reopened to visitors.

It is one of several landmarks and iconic tourist attractions across the US which have been thrown a lifeline by their respective state governments.

Colorado, Utah, Arizona, South Dakota, and New York’s governors have all agreed to foot the bill to keep parks operating for fear of the risk that shutting down tourist attractions will have on the local economies.

New York State donated close to $400,000 dollars to keep the Statue of Liberty opened to tourists for at least a week.

Similarly, corporate donors in South Dakota have brokered a deal with the local national park service to reopen Mount Rushmore to tourists as of this week.

Arizona officials also reached a deal at the end of last week to ensure weekend visitors to the Grand Canyon National Park wouldn’t miss out. Other agreements will ensure that Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park and Utah’s Zion National Park remain open too.

The deals, which were given the all clear by the Obama administration to reopen, are all short term solutions to the US government shutdown that began a fortnight ago.

But not all states can afford to foot the bill to reopen their parks. Over 400 monuments, parks and tourist areas have been closed to visitors since the start of October.

While onlookers were optimistic that a deal to end the shutdown was close, negotiations have since collapsed and talks between President Obama and Republicans ceased for the time being.

Nonetheless, tourists in New York basked in the fine autumn weather, excitedly flocking to Battery Park to jump on a boat headed for Lady Liberty – symbol of the American virtue of freedom.


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