Three of the most famous U.S. National Parks - the Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore and the Statue of Liberty - will reopen in the coming days after state governors reached deals despite an ongoing government shutdown.
The governors of Arizona, New York and South Dakota said in separate statements on Friday that they had reached agreements with the federal government to reopen their respective parks between Saturday and Monday.
The emblematic parks are among 401 National Park Service attractions across the United States that shut their gates to fee-paying visitors on Oct. 1 after the U.S. Congress and the White House failed to reach agreement on raising the nation's debt limit.
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer said the Grand Canyon, which draws nearly 5 million visitors a year, would reopen on Saturday after she reached a deal with the federal government to pay the National Park Service $651,000 to resume operations for seven days, using state and other monies.
"With a long weekend in front of us, I am thrilled Grand Canyon will be open and fully operational," Brewer said in a statement, referring to the upcoming Columbus Day weekend.
"While this deal will buy us some time and bring back lost revenue to the state, I would hope our elected officials in Washington move urgently to negotiate an immediate end to this government standstill," she added.