Oct 4 2013, 6:39am CDT | by PR.com
Las Vegas, NV, October 04, 2013 --(PR.com)-- The federal government shutdown has closed all U.S. National Parks, including the Grand Canyon. This closure, however, is only impacting 10 percent of Grand Canyon 123's tour offerings, said company owner Keith Kravitz.
"Only South Rim tours from Las Vegas and Phoenix are impacted by the political impasse," he said, "and these are bus tours and a few airplane flights that include a bus ride inside the Park."
In particular, Kravitz said he is advising travelers to postpone purchasing bus tours until the political situation is resolved. "These bus tours can still be purchased for future dates," he noted. "As for the present, such trips are being sold on a day-by-day basis." The same applies to airplane tours that include a bus trip, he noted.
Meantime, all West Rim tours from Las Vegas are available and departing as scheduled. "The West Rim," Kravitz noted, "is outside the boundaries of the National Park and is not affected by the shutdown." West Rim tours include bus rides, airplane flights and helicopter tours.
All South Rim air tours are available and flying on schedule. "Grand Canyon National Park Airport," Kravitz noted, "is situated outside the Park's federal boundaries and therefore its business as usual."
South Rim trips include helicopter and airplane tours. "Helicopter rides are either 30-minutes or 50-minutes in duration," Kravitz said. "Personally, the later is best because it lets you see up to 75 percent of the Park."
The South Rim airplane tour is 50-minutes long and follows the same path as the extended helicopter tour. "The airplane trip is a total deal," Kravitz noted. "What separates it form the helicopter is elevation and price."
In Las Vegas, travelers can pick between aerial and landing tours. "The air-only flight is a great way to sample the canyon," Kravitz noted. "However, landing tours offer a more comprehensive experience, especially the one that lands at the bottom and comes with a Champagne picnic."
Las Vegas airplane tours can be air-only or landing, too. "If helicopter tours are sold out," said Kravitz, "Consider buying an airplane tour. There will most likely be seats available and prices are much cheaper."
Bus tours from Las Vegas make the trip to the West Rim in 2.5 hours. Departing once a day in the morning, these trips conclude in the early evening. "Expect to spend an entire day on these tours," Kravitz noted. "And, if the budget is there, consider adding a side trip or two like a helicopter ride to the bottom or a boat trip down the Colorado."
Travelers who’ve already booked a tour during the shutdown should be entitled to a full refund or a rescheduled tour. “The best tour companies are issuing full refunds or upgrading existing packages,” he said. “Indeed, times like these are unpredictable but stranger things have happened, and that’s why it pays to book with a company that offers a no-hassle cancel policy.”
To purchase Grand Canyon tours from a list of pre-screened tour operators with excellent cancellation policies, please visit:
Grand Canyon 123
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