Though previously mis-reported by ABC news, it does in fact look possible that the Great Smoky Mountains national park may be opening as soon as tomorrow Wednesday October 16th through this Sunday October 20th thanks to funding by the Stare of Tennessee, Blount and Sevier County and North Carolina.
While this is just a Band-Aid effort for the GSMNP and could be a huge boost to those suffering the most in the area, there is still no official plans released if the park reopens, what happens after Sunday.
The timing of the reopening of the GSMNP, if it happens, is especially important considering this will be the first of the 2 best peak weekends to see the colorful fall leaf season in the Smokies, and that we are entering the final days of the active elk rut season.
We are all expecting a huge weekend here in the Smoky Mountains for visitation as the best accommodations in the area have already been sold out for weeks and though most people won't cancel overnight trips to the area, day trippers may put their travels off until next week or later.
To open the park for just those few days would cost $300,500 of which Blunt and Sevier County would be paying 10% each and the state would pay the remaining 80% of its share of the bill which will be split with North Carolina.
Agreements made by the federal government stipulate that when the government shutdown ends, the government would return any funds sent to them by states to open their National Park(s) back to to those states.
Meanwhile in Washington as the debt ceiling deadline looms less than 34 hours away, it is believed by most a deal will be made within the final hours that would stop the government shutdown that has already hurt so many of us and allow the national parks and other government services and facilities to reopen.
Update: Park WILL open - see below!
Related Government GSMNP and BRP Closure Articles:
Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Reopen Tomorrow at 12 Noon. - Posted 10-15-13
Great Smoky Mountains National Park May Reopen Tomorrow – Maybe - Posted 10-15-13
Government Shutdown Affecting Great Smoky Mountains National Park Day 14 - Posted 10-14-13
How Government Shutdown is Affecting Great Smoky Mountains National Park - Posted 10-08-13
Update to Government Closure of Great Smoky Mountains National Park - Posted 10-05-13
Shutdown Info Great Smoky Mountains and Blue Ridge Parkway - Posted 10-03-13