Business Benefiting from Reopening of Shenandoah National Park

By: Anna-Lysa Gayle Email
By: Anna-Lysa Gayle Email

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- It is the first weekend since the government reopened. Tourists are excited that they can finally make it onto Skyline Drive and businesses are thrilled to have them.

After 16 days, many were looking forward to biking in the Shenandoah National Park.

"That doesn't seem like a long time, but for someone who wanted to come up and see the leaves and spend a weekend, they couldn't do it. They couldn't stay at Big Meadows. They couldn't stay at Loft Mountain," said Fred Gore who was visiting from Charlottesville on Sunday.

Dr. Wayne Engel, the owner of Stonewall Jackson Inn in Harrisonburg is seeing more customers, since the nearby National Park reopened.

"The occupancy at our Inn is at maximum, the guests that are coming here are extremely happy that the...Skyline Drive is open," said Engel.

During the shutdown, Engel had to find alternate destinations for his guests to visit.

"The guess that were here are very negative about the gridlock in Washington," said Engel.

Now that the shutdown is over, tourists are back to enjoying the scenery and everything the Shenandoah Valley has to offer.

Brian Cobb drove from Virginia Beach to enjoy a scenic bike ride.

"We are having a lovely time, the road is beautiful. The views are fantastic, having a great day. The sun is out," said Cobb.

According to a park employee, nearly 400 visitors passed through the entrance on Skyline Drive on Sunday.

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