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Govt. shutdown, park closures would deliver economic blow to Utah

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - With five national parks and seven national monuments, Utah stands to lose big if the federal government shuts down Friday night amid failed budget talks.
By CHI-CHI ZHANG
Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - With five national parks and seven national monuments, Utah stands to lose big if the federal government shuts down Friday night amid failed budget talks.

Tourism officials say Utah could lose millions of dollars in visitor revenue if the parks close as families with kids on spring break change their plans and head elsewhere.

Business owners in small towns like Springdale in southern Utah, with just about 500 residents - a gateway to Zion National Park - say closures would severely cut into the start of their busy season. About 2.6 million people visit Zion each year, with the numbers starting to increase around now.

The Interior Department says it's hoping the government doesn't shut down, but if it does, national parks will close nationwide.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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