Record snowfall may have kept some visitors away from Smokies in October

10:42 AM, Nov 13, 2012   |    comments
Snow on Newfound Gap, October 30, 2012
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The massive snowfall from Superstorm Sandy may have kept some visitors away from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in October.

The park says visitation was down 1.9% from last October, with 1,112,474 people enjoying the Smokies.  Park officials believe the news reports about the heavy snowfall may have kept some people away.

The upper elevations of the park received a record amount of snowfall, with several feet of snow.  Highway 441 was shut down for several days, limiting travel.  There was no snow accumulation in the lower elevations, including in Gatlinburg.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park recorded  visitors during October 2012 which is a 1.9 % decrease over October 2011.

Even with the storm and the slight decrease in numbers compared with 2011, October 2012 visitation showed a 4% increase over the 10 year average visitation for October.

Despite slightly lower numbers in October, the yearly visitation is up 7.3%, or 581,244 more visitors, than what was recorded between January and October 2011.

October 2012 Visitors by Entrance:

Gatlinburg: 413,368
Townsend: 142,002
Cherokee: 250,426
Outlying Areas: 306,677

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