Haslam announces plan to reopen Smokies at $60K per day
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV-AP) -
Gov. Bill Haslam says the state has reached an agreement to reopen the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Wednesday with a daily operating cost of $60,000.
The governor said the closure of the Smokies during the federal government shutdown was especially hard on the local economy, because October and early November are usually the busiest months at the country's most visited park. According to park officials, it averages about 1.1 million visitors in October alone.
The agreement will keep the park open through Sunday, with a total pricetag of $300,000. The state is paying 80 percent of the cost in the form of a $240,400 tourism grant to Sevier County with Sevier and Blount counties funding the remaining $60,100 to fully fund operation of the park for five days.
Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.