More people expected in NC mountains for fall color - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

More people expected in NC mountains for fall color

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CULLOWHEE, N.C. (AP) - A new study from Western Carolina University says more tourists are expected in the mountains to see fall colors this month than last October.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reported ( that the report said that occupancy rates should increase in 21 mountain counties this year.

The report notes that the number of visitors last year was smaller because of the temporary shutdown of national parks in the two-week federal government shutdown.

University economist Steve Morse says the shutdown last year may have increased the desire for visits this year.

Campgrounds and visitors centers were closed for the first 15 days of October last year in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway.

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