Government shutdown cost Smokies park the most

Government shutdown cost Smokies park the most

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WATE) - A report from the National Park Service indicates last year's government shutdown cost the Great Smoky Mountains National Park the most of all national parks.

The report says 847,616 visitors spent $65.8 million in the Smokies in October, which is down from the average of 1,176,720 visitors spending $91.4 million.

The NPS entered an agreement with state officials to reopen the Smokies park during the shutdown on what ended up being its last day at a cost of just over $600,000.

Five other states also received permission to reopen national parks within their borders using state money. A bill is pending in Congress to reimburse those states.

Nationally, the government shutdown resulted in nearly 8 million fewer visitors to national parks, costing the parks and surrounding communities an estimated $414 million in lost visitor spending.

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