Rocky Mountain National Park to reopen

4:50 PM, Oct 12, 2013   |    comments
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KUSA - Rocky Mountain National Park will reopened Saturday under a temporary agreement with the State of Colorado. The National Park Service made the announcement Friday.

The agreement keeps the park open for 10 days at a total cost to Colorado of $362,000.

READNPS Colorado Donation Agreement

The state has been lobbying the federal government to reopen the park because the park's closure cut off Trail Ridge Road, a crucial roadway into a still recovering Estes Park.

This agreement makes good on what Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper told officials in the town earlier this week.

He was hoping to simply open Trail Ridge Road, using state troopers to patrol it.

Under the terms of the agreement, Colorado will donate funds to the National Park Service for the sole purpose of enabling National Park Service employees to reopen and manage Rocky Mountain National Park.

READ: Governor Hicknelooper asks feds to hand over Rocky Mountain National Park road

Hickenlooper thanked Colorado Congress members and local officials for helping to make this happen.

The town of Estes Park already lost out on tourist dollars, which led to protests at the closed gate this week.

There are still turning trees and elk to be seen this weekend, but the park was closed during some of the prime weekend time businesses count on before the winter slowdown.

Businesses in the mountain town had just cleaned up damage from the flood in September, reopened, and then found they had no customers.

It was so slow that businesses some shut back down; others laid off workers.

According to budget documents from the Interior Department, the park costs more than $12.5 million a year to keep open.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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