Great Season for Businesses Along the Blue Ridge Parkway

Bedford Co., VA - While many of the leaves have already fallen, there are still plenty of people out enjoying the parkway.

The Atkins's were on a day trip from Richmond. They grew up in Bedford and love to come home to see the colors every year.{}

"We kinda missed the peak I think a little bit, but the leaves are still pretty," the family said.

The Frisch's are retired and decided to travel the entire parkway. They left Saturday morning from Canada.

"It's been very pretty coming through, however I think we should've been here a couple of weeks earlier to see the more vibrant colors," a Frisch family member said.

Some people come every year to enjoy the colors. Others stop through on their way down the Parkway.

The Morris's have been visiting the Peaks of Otter for more than 20 years. They honeymooned at the Peaks and have brought their kids over the years. When the family found out the park closed because of the government shutdown, they were upset.

"My gosh this would be almost like taking a chunk out of our lives if this was not open," said Henry Morris.

Peaks of Otter General Manager Robert Peters said the shutdown did set them back.

"But as soon as we reopened, business started booming. Business started coming back in once people started realizing we were open," said Peters.

Peters said their gift shop, country store, restaurant, and hiking tours are packed.

"We're normally sold out every weekend. We're still selling out every weekend through this time of year. And as I said we're feeding anywhere between 1200 to 1700 people every weekend, so it's great," Peters continued.

Gross's Orchard also sees a peak in business this time of year. The orchard is open year-round but they really see an increase in customers driving by on the parkway.

"It was steady until the parkway opened back up and now we have{} been very busy," said Gross who is in the fourth generation of his family to own the orchard.{}

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