Park shutdown impacts Sevier Co. in different ways

The effect of the shutdown is bit different near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park dependent upon where you live.

Although businesses in Gatlinburg are bracing for life with fewer tourists, their concern isn't bearing out right away.

Ever since the park closed down, the City of Gatlinburg has made a push to inform tourists that there is still plenty of things to do in that community.

"That's one thing about this destination," said Marci Claude, a spokesperson for the Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau. "There's so much family fun and things to do in addition to visiting the national park.

"While the park is closed, there are a number of campgrounds still open across Sevier County.

The Greenbrier Island Campground, in Pittman Center, said it had been flooded with calls from people looking for a new place to stay outside of the park.

"Unfortunately, we've even had to turn away a lot of the individuals with campers because we're already booked up for most of the month of October," said co-owner Darlene McCarter.

Claude said many visitors plan their trips months in advance. She said it was unlikely a large number of people would cancel their trips just because of the shutdown.

But, some people weren't so happy with what happened in the Smokies Tuesday.

It drastically changed Daniel and Kim McDevitt's honeymoon plans.

"We wanted to go to Cade's Cove and we got almost there," Kim McDevitt said.

They were ultimately turned around by park rangers. But, in the end, many visitors ended up just coming back to Gatlinburg.

Workers at the Four Seasons Motor Lodge say they noticed more people downtown than usual for a Tuesday.


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