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Contact: Shannan Marcak, 928-638-7958
Grand Canyon, Ariz. – On the weekends of June 20 – 21, July 18 – 19, and August 15 – 16, 2009, Grand Canyon National Park and the 146 other National Park Service (NPS) sites around the country that charge entrance fees will offer fee-free entry into the parks.
The fee-free weekends were announced by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar on Tuesday, June 2, and are intended to encourage Americans seeking affordable vacations to visit their national treasures. According to Secretary Salazar, “During these tough economic times, our national parks provide opportunities for affordable vacations for families.”
Secretary Salazar noted that there are 391 NPS sites across the nation; and pointed out that over 200 of them never charge an entry fee. In addition, the 147 sites that do charge entrance fees will waive them on these special weekends.
In Grand Canyon National Park, all entrance fees will be waived for visitors arriving on Saturday or Sunday during the weekends of June 20 – 21, July 18 – 19, and August 15 – 16. These free entry passes will be good for that Saturday and Sunday only. Visitors whose plans include additional days in the park, will need to pay the regular entrance fee for the remainder of their stay. Park visitors are reminded that the fee-free designation applies to entrance fees only and does not affect fees for camping, reservations, tours and use of concessions. Park entrance stations will have Senior and Annual Passes available for those who wish to purchase them.
In addition to entering the park for free, Grand Canyon visitors who come to the park during these special weekends will have the opportunity to take advantage of specials being offered by park concessioners. Xanterra South Rim, L.L.C., will be offering an All American Dessert special in their three sit-down restaurants—the El Tovar, the Arizona Room and the Bright Angel Lodge Dining Room—and their retail outlets will offer a special price on custom-designed fleece blankets with a purchase of $50.00 or more. At the Grand Canyon Market Place, June will be National Iced Tea Month, and fee-free weekend will be celebrated with iced tea specials; fee-free weekend in July will inspire ice cream specials; and in August, there will be lemonade and summer fruit specials to mark the occasion.
“These fee-free weekends are a great opportunity for people to save a little money while relaxing and having fun in some of this country’s most amazing landscapes—like the Grand Canyon,” said Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent Steve Martin. “Perhaps during these tough economic times, reacquainting ourselves with the heritage that our diverse national park system preserves can provide solace and a source of inspiration.”
To learn more about visiting Grand Canyon National Park, visit the park’s web site at www.nps.gov/grca; or to have a free trip planner mailed to you, call 928-638-7888. To learn more about fee-free weekends in national parks around the country, go to https://www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparks.htm.