More visitors to the Smoky Mountains, but they aren’t spending as much in the area

There is about 7.6% more visitors so far this year to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  The numbers for July are up 11%.  To put it in perspective, the current visitors during July is a high since 2000.  You might think that would mean more business in the area, but apparently not.  In Gatlinburg, lodging is down 9%, while shopping is down 13%. 

This really makes sense when you think about it.  I know when we have less money during trips to the Smokies, we tend to spend more time in the park.  If we have a little extra money, we might spend more time doing paid activities.  With the economy the way it is, it shouldn’t be surprising that more people are looking for less expensive ways to go on vacation. 

How about you… are you planning a trip to the Smokies soon?  Do you plan to spend more or less??

****If you ARE planning a trip, stay where we stay when in the Smoky Mountains… … right between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, and you can hit the bypass and go right to the park.. OR, just sit out on the tower deck and enjoy great views of the mountains in the comfort of your “place in the smokies.”****


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