Group Claims Smokies Shutdown Costing $2M Per Day
A report prepared by a group representing retired Park Service employees claims the federal shutdown is costing East Tennessee and Western North Carolina approximately two million dollars a day in lost revenue.
The Coalition of National Park Service Retirees (CNPSR) report released Thursday used October 2012 attendance figures for twelve of the leading national parks and attempted to calculate the amount of money those visitors would have spent if the parks had been open this year.
The report suggests 257, 534 tourists would have gone to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in October and they would have spent $23,123,287 in and around the park.
Because the Smokies are the most visited National Park in the US, the amount of money lost in this region is much higher than any of the other park communities listed in the report. For instance, Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona comes closest, with estimated losses in October totaling $11,750,684.
The report also estimates the number of Smokies-area jobs affected by the shutdown is 11,766. All but 399 of those jobs are considered non-National Park Service jobs.
Nationwide, the CNPSR suggests the shutdown is costing National Park communities across the US approximately $76 million a day. A much more conservative estimate by the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) puts that number closer to $30 million.