A "Washington Monument Play" is when government punishes the populace by denying a popular service in order to extort money for unpopular costs. We start this ongoing series with the great State of Arizona
Arizona decides to close most state parks
Facing a multibillion-dollar shortfall, the state will shut 13 parks by June, including the Tombstone Courthouse and Yuma Territorial Prison. Several had already been closed.
January 16, 2010|By Nicole Santa Cruz
Wrestling with a multibillion-dollar budget deficit, Arizona decided Friday to close nearly all of its state parks, including the famed Tombstone Courthouse and Yuma Territorial Prison.
The State Parks Board unanimously voted to close 13 parks by June 3. Eight others had already been closed, and the decision would leave nine open -- but only if the board can raise $3 million this year.
The action represents the largest closure of state parks in the nation, although several other states are considering similar moves.
"It's a dark day for the Arizona state parks system," said Renee Bahl, the system's executive director.
"We have 65,000 acres around the state and the majority of them are closing."
The Arizona parks receive about 2.3 million visitors per year who bring about $266 million into the state, Bahl said.
Got that math? $3m is "saved" to help close a multi-billion dollar deficit. That $3m apparently generates 80x in economic ripples. There's no way this is about saving money.