Rafting companies lost 'hundreds of thousands' in canyon shutdown

2013-10-14T00:00:00Z Rafting companies lost 'hundreds of thousands' in canyon shutdownCronkite News Service Arizona Daily Star
October 14, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Grand Canyon river-rafting guides were having a good season this year. And then the calendar turned to October.

Rafting companies say they lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in business while Grand Canyon National Park closed as part of the federal government shutdown on Oct. 1.

Arizona reached a deal Friday with the Interior Department to pay for the park to reopen using state and local funds this week.

But in the 10 days before the park reopened Saturday, six companies had to cancel 12 trips, for a combined loss of more than $900,000, said John Dillon, executive director of the Grand Canyon River Outfitters Association.

Alexandra Thevenin, co-owner of Arizona Raft Adventures, said her company alone lost nearly $200,000 after canceling launches on Oct. 2, 4 and 8.

Thevenin and others tried to roll over as many reservations as possible to next year, but most customers requested refunds, Dillon said.

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