Shutdown boosts Cloudland Canyon State Park revenue
RISING FAWN, GA (WRCB) -- The government shutdown put a lot of working men and women behind the eight-ball but in a few cases it lead to record financial numbers. State parks saw a steady increase in visitors. Cloudland Canyon State Park in Northwest Georgia is on pace for its best year yet.
"We tried lots of different camp sites in the area and they were all full, my understanding is that because of the federal shutdown the state parks filled up," said park goer Tara Poole.
Poole was spot on, Cloudland Canyon State Park was overflowing to the point of record numbers.
Park Director Bobby Wilson said, "there were a couple days that we had to double up on staff to handle the people in front of us and the phones."
In 23-years of working state parks, Wilson never experienced anything like the influx in calls and visitors surrounding the Federal Government shutdown.
"We experienced a lot of extra people coming in saying their reservations with federal parks were canceled looking for a place to stay at the last moment," said Wilson.
Wilson says for the first time ever they're set to surpass the $1-million revenue mark which in turn will boost local economy, "we're estimating a $25-million impact in the local area from the park."
A lot of those visitors were first timers said Wilson.
He's hoping the park will leave a lasting impression, because he's thinking bigger picture, "for the park in general that's longevity. That's what we're trying to do is build that reputation and get known by people so they do come back and bring their family and friends in the future."