Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Reopen by Midnight Tonight and Completely by 12 Noon.
The good news is in a nick of time the National Park was funded by both Tennessee and North Carolina for $60,100 a day for 5 days for a total of $300,500. This will keep the park open until Sunday through the first weekend of the fall peak leaf season.
Tennessee's share of the park bill dwarfs the $75,000 North Carolina is spending to open its side of the park. Though more of the GSMNP is in North Carolina, Tennessee has much higher visitation and thus stood losing far more income for its residents that depend on the park visitors and sales tax revenue for the state and nearby counties.
The bad news is it will take time to bring furloughed workers back in and turn on services such as power and water as well as remove barricades tomorrow so the national park is saying much will be open by 8 am and expect full operations back to normal by 12 noon October 16th.
The park will technically be open tonight, but most facilities such as the campgrounds and picnic areas may not be ready until noontime.
Cades Cove Loop Road and Cataloochee Valley are expected to be upon sunrise as well as some of the park roads that are presently closed.
The LeConte Lodge has always been manned, and will be ready for the public tomorrow. Call (865)429-5704 in the morning for openings.
Campers with existing reservations for any days the park is now open will be honored. It is still not clear if new reservations can be made as the reservation system may not be functional.
If the Federal shutdown is not over by Sunday, the park will be officially closed back up just before midnight on Sunday, October 20th. That is unless the states pay more to keep the GSMNP open longer.
Last update 10/15/13 7:47pm
Related Government GSMNP and BRP Closure Articles:
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Will Reopen Tomorrow. - 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