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Havasupai Tribe extends suspension of tourism to waterfalls

Flooding forces evacuations of Havasupai campers
Posted at 1:44 PM, Dec 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-21 20:53:04-05

PHOENIX — The Havasupai Tribe suspended tourism to its picturesque waterfalls, a top travel destination in Arizona, back in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In May, that suspension was extended indefinitely.

Months later, that suspension remains in place and would remain in place for the foreseeable future. On Thursday, the Havasupai Tribal Council announced that it would continue that suspension indefinitely.

“In order to further protect the health and welfare of the Havasupai people and tribal residents, the Council finds it necessary to continue the suspension of its tourism operation until further notice,” said Chairwoman Eva Kissoon in a statement.

Permits to visit and sleep at the Village of Supai campgrounds typically go on sale in February and often sell-out within minutes. Reservations that were booked earlier this year have been impacted since mid-March.

The Tribe does not issue refunds for permits, fees, or other expenses -- permits this year cost $100-$125 per night -- but has said that those whose reservations were impacted would be allowed to reschedule them for a future date.

Tourism is the Tribe's main source of revenue.

When reservations will be allowed again, and what that means for those hoping to book reservations for 2021 and years after, remains unknown.