Oct 17, 2013 7:18 PM by Erika Flores

Parks reopen after government shutdown ends

TUCSON - In Southern Arizona, locals and tourists are happy to see two of our national parks reopened. Both Saguaro National Park East and West are opened Thursday morning to visitors.

Gates were opened early Thursday morning at both sites to welcome hikers, walkers and bicyclists. The visitor centers at both locations are also open.

Sabino Canyon also opened Thursday. Walkers and hikers said they were excited to be back at Sabino Canyon not only to walk through nature, but to contribute to Tucson's economy.

"We're happy to see it open," said visitors. That's how workers at Sabino Canyon were greeted Thursday as the park re-opened after the shutdown.

"I'm really ecstatic very happy to get back to work all of us are," said Tracie Reed who works with the Sabino Canyon Tours.

"We've missed it. We missed it. It's been rough," said Rita Brumbaugh who works at the bookstore.

Reed and Brumbaugh are both independent contractors for the park. They said the shutdown was hard on them. "Not knowing if I was going to be able to come back to work if I was going to have to look for another job or what was going on," said Reed. "I'm just very happy that they finally made a decision last night and we're back here today."

Brumbaugh said she was glued to her TV Wednesday.

"Every minute, every minute of the news waiting to see what was going to happen," said Brumbaugh.

Visitors are also relieved. "With Sabino Canyon being a big tourist attraction, I think it's real good for our economy," said Troy Alger, a visitor.


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