Thousands of tourists waiting to visit Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty were turned away this weekend in light of the federal government shutdown Friday night. But unlike what happened during the last shutdown in 2013, which lasted 16 days, New York State has quickly intervened. On Sunday, Andrew Cuomo announced that both National Park Service monuments will be open Monday “as normal,” and will be funded by the state until the end of the shutdown.
“She has the day off today, she’s resting, she deserves it … but she’s going to go back to work tomorrow,” said Cuomo about the Statue of Liberty. “That is an economic problem for the state of New York … and that is one of the best economic investments we’ve made in a long time.”
Governor Cuomo reached a deal with the Interior Department to have the state pay $65,000 a day to keep both sites open, according to amNewYork.
Statue Cruises, the authorized concessionaire of the National Park Service and ferry operator to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, offered one-hour harbor tours ($24) as a substitute option for guests during the shutdown; those with pre-purchased tickets to the Statue of Liberty or Ellis Island were also able to swap them for new harbor tour tickets.
“We have the Statue of Liberty in our harbor … it’s all about welcoming people,” Cuomo added. “The concept of closing the doors to immigrants is repugnant to the concept of America.”
In light of the news, we’re also excited to reopen sales for our tour of the abandoned hospital complex at Ellis Island. We still have a few tickets for this weekend, which you can purchase below: