Lady Liberty remains open despite government shutdown

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BATTERY PARK, Manhattan (PIX11) – Battery Park vendors are back in business with the re-opening of Lady Liberty.

“I sell drinks, ice cream, hot dogs and pretzels,” said a smiling Waekil Ahmet.

Ahmet and other food vendors make  a living on the tourists getting on and off the ferries that go to the Statue of Liberty.

And while there has been no resolution in Washington to end the government shutdown, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has worked out an agreement with the federal government to reopen the Statue of Liberty.

“You have to remember that the Statue of Liberty, is one of the main tourist destinations and people come to New York to come to the Statue of Liberty.”

New York State will pay the federal government $61,000 a day to keep the national park open. The money coming from the State’s tourism fund.  It may seem like a lot, but when you consider the millions generated in concession and franchise fees and sales tax, the state really cant afford to have Lady Liberty shutdown.  Neither could Moyn Jama.

“Business is good everyone is coming, people are coming again,” Jama said.

3.7 million people visited the Statue of Liberty in 2011.  The national park was closed for eight months after Superstorm Sandy.

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