Posts Tagged ‘Zion’

Bryce Canyon National Park Utah

Bryce Canyon National Park Utah

It didn’t take long for National Park Service employees to begin opening closed gates and taking down barricades after Utah wired a $1.7 million loan early Friday. The loan is enough to keep five national parks and three national monuments open for 10 days.

“This is a practical and temporary solution that will lessen the pain for some businesses and communities in Utah during this shutdown,” Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said in a release Friday afternoon. “We want to reopen all of our national parks as quickly possible for everyone to enjoy and call on Congress to pass a clean continuing resolution to open the government.”

It will take an act of Congress to approve repayment of the loan. The Utah Legislature, which will meet in special session Wednesday, could approve money to keep the areas open beyond the initial 10 days.

The loan allows Zion, Bryce, Arches, Canyonlands and Capitol Reef national parks to open, along with Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Natural Bridges and Cedar Breaks national monuments. Herbert said in a tweet Friday afternoon that campground reservations at the reopened parks will be honored beginning Saturday.

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Bryce Canyon National Park Utah

Bryce Canyon National Park Utah

The Utah Office of Tourism launched a $3.1 million spring/summer regional television advertising campaign at the Capitol today to promote Utah’s five national parks known as “The Mighty Five.”

The campaign will include TV commercials in Los Angeles, Denver, Phoenix, Portland, San Francisco, and Seattle, as well as digital outdoor, wallscapes, online, and social media.

“Utah’s five stunning national parks contribute to Utah’s economy in a meaningful way by creating much-needed jobs and impacting local economies in gateway communities and surrounding areas,” said Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert.

“We are really excited to launch The Mighty Five to promote our iconic national parks that are becoming more popular, especially with international visitors who come to experience the red rock of the Desert Southwest,” said Vicki Varela, managing director of the Utah Office of Tourism, Film, and Global Branding, an agency of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.  “Whether you’re looking for memorable family fun, an adrenaline rush, or the solace of nature, you’re sure to discover an unforgettable experience that can only be found in Utah.”

Visitation has continued to increase at Utah’s national parks, even in a down economy.  In 2012, 6.5 million recreation visits were made to Utah’s five national parks. Another 5.1 million recreation visits occurred at Utah’s seven national monuments, two national recreation areas, and one national historic site.

Spots for the television campaign can be viewed on the Office of Tourism’s YouTube Channel at  The commercials feature all of

Utah’s five national parks:  Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Zion.

“Utah is the most amazing place in the world,” said Robb Baumann whose wife and two children are featured in the TV commercials.  Baumann, a graduate of the University of Utah, was familiar with The Greatest Snow on Earth® of Utah’s slopes, but business would eventually lead him to a successful job with an aerospace company in Florida.

On a flight, he ran across a Utah Life Elevated ad that he put in his desk drawer as a constant 18-month reminder that he and his wife wanted to move their family back to Utah.  “It’s not hard to imagine why people would visit here and then want to live here.”

Three, five, and seven-day itineraries to visit The Mighty Five™ parks can be found online at 

The National Park Service reports no Utah parks will be closed, but services may be impacted due to the Sequestration.

ZION IL — A wind sheer off of Lake Michigan that was close to 100 mph last week closed the Adeline Jay Geo-Karis Illinois Beach State Park in Zion, one of the state’s more popular parks, and the state owned North Point Marina in Winthrop Harbor.

The campground at Illinois Beach State Park was evacuated last Thursday night as trees toppled over and branches flew around the campsites, some of them landing on tents and campers.

“It hit just after 8 p.m. and about a third of the campground (241 sites in all) was filled,” said Bob Feffer, assistant site superintendent.

“It all took about 15 minutes,” he said.

“There were some scrapes and bruises, but nothing serious. It was a miracle,” said Feffer, who was called in back to work and spent hours on a tractor moving trees so campers could evacuate. On Wednesday, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources said three people had minor injuries.

“We are very fortunate that no one was seriously hurt by this storm,” said Marc Miller, director of the IDNR.

“We will reopen the park once we are sure there are no imminent hazards or threats to public safety,” he said.

The cleanup could take weeks, even with the help of work crews from the Lake County Forest Preserves, who were there Wednesday, and the Lake County Public Works Department, which was there earlier this week.

Feffer said they have seven campground hosts who are helping by calling campers with reservations for the next couple of weeks that the campground is closed.

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