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Grand Canyon Celebrates 6 Million Visitors—Then Takes It Back

Back in December, officials at the Grand Canyon in Arizona honored a family of four from Las Vegas as the national park's record-breaking 6 millionth guests of the year. 

How can four people be one number? They can't. The park relies on traffic counters, permits, concessions records, and other figures to calculate visitor numbers. But since those who do the calculating determined that the 6 million mark would definitely be passed on December 12, park officials figured the Johnson family—James and Abigail and their kids Sophia and Elijah—were as good a group as any to receive the honor. 

Trouble is, when the final tally of Grand Canyon visitors was estimated for 2016, the number that came in was 5,969,811.

According to a park spokesperson, the premature celebration was caused by a slight miscalculation.

Those 5.96 million visits still set a record, and amounted to an 8% increase over the previous year.

But it kind of feels like running out of gas just before the odometer turns over, doesn't it?