When the government shut down and national parks closed, much of East Tennessee's attention focused on the Smokies. However, another popular vacation spot also sits empty: Big South Fork.
Just like the Smokies, Big South Fork draws a high volume of tourists during October when the leaves begin to change. Now, the businesses in Scott and Fentress counties that rely on that business are worried.
"We knew this was going to be our busiest month," said Donna Martin, who owns True West Campground with her husband in Jamestown. They were hoping government leaders would avoid a shutdown.
"We were crossing all our fingers and toes hoping that this wouldn't even happen. And now that it has we're concerned because we've had some cancellations."
Martin said customers continue to call and inquire about the shutdown, and wonder if the trip is still worth their time and money.
"Big South Fork is not something you can just drive off the highway from. It is a destination. It's a place that you plan for, for a long time," she said. "And if you cant come and ride, what's the point?"
The Martins moved from New England to take over the campground about three years ago.
"This was our life's dream. We sunk everything we own into this. And, who knows?"
On the other side of the park, Scott County residents are feeling the shutdowns impact, too.
"They shut down most of our overlooks," said County Commissioner Willie Boyatt. His district borders Big South Fork. "They've put up barricades so that most people can't go up and enjoy that."
Boyatt explained, there are plenty of people in his county who rely on the park for an income source.
"We've got some local people who run concessions, like the horse camp there in the park service. With the shutdown, it's affected them because they cant run that. They had to put a bid in every year to get that," he said.