Blog :: 10-2013

National Park Re-opening!!!!

NC, Tennessee pay to open Smoky Mountains park during shutdown

RALEIGH, N.C. "” Gov. Pat McCrory said Tuesday that North Carolina and Tennessee have agreed to pick up the $380,000 tab to open Great Smoky Mountains National Park for the rest of this week - the height of leaf-watching season in the park.

North Carolina will spend $75,000 from its tourism advertising budget, while Tennessee and two counties will spend the remaining $305,000 to reopen the park that straddles the state line from Wednesday through Sunday.

Like other national parks, Great Smoky Mountains National Park has been closed since Oct. 1 during the federal government shutdown. About 10 million people visit the park annually, including 4 million who enter through North Carolina.

"This is about jobs and the economy," McCrory said in a statement. "Many North Carolina communities depend on tourism generated by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It's critical that we get the gates reopened during the fall season."

He said he is exploring options to open other national parks in North Carolina.

Professor Steve Morse, director of Western Carolina University's Hospitality and Tourism Program, estimated that each day Great Smoky Mountains National Park is closed costs nearly $1 million in consumer spending in North Carolina. The closure is potentially costing North Carolina workers $343,354 in lost wages per day, he said.

"Meet & Greet the Candidates" at Hurley's Creekside Restaurant

MEET & GREET - Hurley's Creekside Restaurant will host a "Meet & Greet the Candidates" tonight from 7 - 9 p.m.Everyone is invited to attend!

Government Shutdown & Road Closures

  • Blue Ridge Parkway: The road will remain open though its visitor centers, headquarters, picnic areas and restrooms will be closed
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park: U.S. 441 from Cherokee to Gatlinburg will remain open but, the parkway, trails, campgrounds, picnic areas, visitor centers and parking lots will be closed.

As we get new updates we will be sure to pass them along.