Shutdown blamed for decline in customers for East TN businesses

(WBIR - Hartford) Many businesses are feeling the effect of the partial government shutdown, including ones in East Tennessee that rely on the now-closed Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

October is usually a busy month for Pigeon River Canopy Tours, but so far the Cocke County business is seeing a dramatic decrease in the number of people walking through their doors.

Dennis and Rosa Johnson of Parrotsville were among the few people ziplining at the amusement attraction Sunday afternoon.

Assistant Manager Mike Kohlenberger said the ziplining and rafting business is feeling the effects of the shutdown at a time when it they industry is already struggling.

Kohlenberger said, "The rafting industry this year has been down about 30 percent from coast to coast. Some people a little higher, some people a little lower. So we're already doing a little worse and with the government shutdown closing the most visited national park, which is the Great Smokey Mountains, the potential is there to do even worse right now."


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