Tag Archives: Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Closing Smokies costs economy $23 million

Road closed in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Road closed in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The closing of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has cost the regional economy more than $23 million in lost visitor spending through the first 10 days of the government shutdown, according to a report released today by the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees.
In addition, more than 257,000 tourists have been unable to visit the park since it has been closed and 11,766 jobs, including 11,367 local/non-park service jobs, are at risk, CNPSR says.
Nationwide, $750 million in visitor spending has been lost at the 12 national parks studied by the coalition.
“These figures are mind boggling and they only begin to capture the full economic shock of locking up the crown jewels of America – our national parks,” CNPSR Chair Maureen Finnerty, former superintendent of Everglades and Olympic National Parks, said in a statement.”  Towns, cities, and even whole states that depend on park tourism are feeling an increasingly strong pinch. And if Congress continues to hold our national parks hostage, these communities will soon be reeling from what is in many cases the main driver of their economies.”
The coalition describes itself as a non-partisan, non-profit organization comprised of former employees of the National Park Service.
Click here for the coalition’s news release.