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Mount Rushmore National Memorial in western SD reopens, hosts thousands of tourists on 1st day

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KEYSTONE, S.D. - Tourists are once again flocking to Mount Rushmore National Memorial in the Black Hills of western South Dakota.

National parks have been closed since Oct. 1 because of the partial government shutdown, but South Dakota and several corporate donors worked out a deal with the National Park Service to reopen the iconic landmark beginning Monday.

Spokeswoman Maureen McGee-Ballinger says about 3,000 people visited the site on Monday — typical for a cold, snowy October day.

McGee-Ballinger says the site is funded for 10 days, through Oct. 23. The Rapid City Journal reports that the Park Service is charging the state $15,200 per day.

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