"We're just staying so happy down here we're going to pass out. That's how great it is," Syrett said Friday. "I'm walking through the hotel right now, and it's basically a ghost town because everybody's inside the park."
In Springdale just outside Zion National Park, Cook was ecstatic about the reopening news.
"Once the euphoria wears off, I think I'll get back to normal," he said.
Cook, general manager of the Best Western Zion Park Inn, said the closure has been tough on businesses in the small town.
"It's been very unnerving and frustrating for a community like ours," he said. "Right now, we're just excited about trying to salvage what we can in the month of October after the bloodletting."
October is traditionally a busy month for Springdale and helps get motels, restaurants and tour companies through the lean winter season.
If the government shutdown remains in place after Oct. 20, Herbert said Utah would consider funding on a day-to-day basis.
"We can keep it open as long as we feel necessary," he said Friday.
Utah won't get back the money it puts up to reopen the recreation sites without an act of Congress.
Members of the state's congressional delegation have initiated legislation for repayment.
"We're going to try. We'll do everything we can," said Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah. "I've assured the governor we would lead that charge, but there's no guarantee with the federal government. All the parties recognize that."
Stewart said it's money well spent even if the state isn't reimbursed. Utah will be more than repaid in the economic activity that's restarted with opening the parks and bringing tourists back, he said.
Herbert, too, said he knows the state might not see that money again. But "we're losing millions of dollars a day when they're closed, so putting out $167,000 a day to return millions into the economy certainly is a good bargain."
House Speaker Becky Lockhart, R-Provo, said it's clearly the obligation of the federal government to operate the parks, and she wants to see the state get its taxpayers' dollars back.
Stewart said in addition to seeking reimbursement, he'll pursue legislation that would allow the state to immediately fund the national parks and be reimbursed should another federal shutdown occur.
"The reality is we'll probably find ourselves in this position again," he said. "We want to legislatively put a piece in place that brings some certainty to that situation."
- Was pregnancy rumor a factor in killing of...
- Two men charged with vandalizing LDS church...
- Father says daughter was stabbed 46 times
- Missing oilfield worker's body found near Vernal
- Jenna Kim Jones: The new, cool face of Mormonism
- Group meeting in Salt Lake to plan 2015 World...
- Conrad Truman found guilty of murdering wife...
- Teen accused of killing 15-year-old makes...
- Utahns not as strongly opposed to... 87
- Love not attending Salt Lake City... 60
- Federal government extends same-sex... 40
- Group meeting in Salt Lake to plan 2015... 29
- Utahns support bill making clear clergy... 23
- Jenna Kim Jones: The new, cool face of... 20
- Support for statewide nondiscrimination... 17
- Owens participates in Rotary Club... 16