How the Government Shutdown Will Affect the Blue Ridge Parkway Locally

Bedford Co., VA - There is still no budget compromise in sight, with the country facing a federal government shutdown starting at midnight.

In our area, that means national parks like Appomattox Courthouse and the Blue Ridge Parkway will be instantly affected, including all of the tourists with their fall plans.

On Friday, the Peaks of Otter Lodge celebrated its grand re-opening after seven months of being closed for replacement of management.

Robert Peters has been general manger just a month and a half and already he will have to tell his 70 employees not to bother coming to work if the government doesn't get it together.

"You're looking at thousands of dollars that are going to be lost in revenue. Tens of thousands of dollars if it continues," Peters said.

Peters will also be forced to tell dozens of guests to stay somewhere else.

Once the word comes down, folks already staying at the lodge will have 48 hours to clear out.

The Gilson family says they're leaving anyway, but just the thought of all the mess has them wound up.

"We've been through this so many times. It's like there's no planning. There's no sense of coming together for the better of the country in a lot of things that are going on," said Larry & Judith Gilson, tourists from Raleigh.

The good news is that the parkway itself will remain open, but that's little consolation for those depending on their jobs.

"We just wait and see and watch like everybody else watching. We hope they make a quick decision. This is not good for anyone. It's not good for the Peaks and it's not good for the average citizen... it's not good," Peters added.

While the parkway itself will be open however these services will close: Campgrounds, Mabry's Mill, and the Peaks of Otter, because the facilities themselves are federal property.

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