Most National Park Service facilities are closed due to the government shutdown, listed as non-essential federal operations, but the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island reopened this morning thanks to a funding agreement with New York State.
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Sunday that the state would use tourism funds to “fully fund National Park Service personnel and costs of operations at the cost of $65,000 per day to keep the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island open to visitors.”
“The Statue of Liberty is a symbol of freedom and opportunity for all, and it is a gross injustice that this administration’s dysfunction caused it to shut down. When this administration tries to deport immigrants, when they close down the Statue of Liberty, they are attacking who we are,” Governor Cuomo said in a statement.
According to an annual report by the National Park Service, 4.5 million people visited Liberty Island in 2016, generating $263.2 million in visitor spending per year and supporting 3,400 jobs, with an economic output of $364 million.
During the 2013 Federal government shutdown, Governor Cuomo reached a similar agreement to reopen the Statue of Liberty using State tourism funding.