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Visitors flock to Smokies despite partial government shutdown

Cabin rental business owners say they haven't had any cancellations.

Despite a partial government shutdown, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park remains open with the help of a local nonprofit called the Great Smoky Mountains Association. 

Businesses owners in the area depend on holiday tourists, and several who we spoke to are grateful that the shutdown doesn't appear to be deterring families from spending Christmas in the mountains. 

From GSMNP - During the partial shutdown of the federal government due to the lapse of appropriations, Great Smoky Mountains National Park will remain as accessible as possible while still following...

"We have not had any cancellations. We still have people calling and wanting to book, and we have no more cabins available to offer them," said Diamond Mountain Rentals owner Mark Wolf. "Business is fantastic. It's great to see people come back, especially after the wildfires." 

It's the same story over at Gatlinburg Falls. Manager Nikki Jones said they've had some visitors call to inquire about the park who are thrilled to learn it's still open.

"It's one of the busiest holidays so that we have people coming in from all over the country and even from other countries," Jones said. 

Great Smoky Mountains Association will fund the operation of Sugarlands, Oconaluftee, and Cades Cove visitor centers, as well as their corresponding restroom facilities through Jan. 1.