ROANOKE, Va. (AP) — Visitors to Virginia's scenic Blue Ridge Parkway had an estimated $1.3 billion economic impact last year in the park's various communities.
The National Park Service's annual survey gauged the impact of visitor spending in the Virginia prize as well in as the other U.S. parks.
The winding roadway has been one of the United States' most-visited national park sites and last year's total was roughly on par with economic impact figures gauged since 2012. The $1.3 billion in estimated impact was down some $100 million from 2017.
The parkway has become an integral part of the mountains and the communities that lie along its 469-mile route. It connects Shenandoah National Park with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.