As Senate Republicans and Democrats were unable to reach an agreement on Friday to continue funding government services, tourism-related destinations like national parks, zoos and museums may be seeing closures.
Despite the shutdown, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park will remain accessible with trails open to visitors, but most services will be discontinued until an agreement is reached.
The tourism development branch of the Blount Partnership, the Smoky Mountain Tourism Development Authority, announced today that the Townsend Visitors Center, located at 7906 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway, will remain open, serving as a source of information on the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and closures.
The Visitors Center is located near historic Cades Cove and the entrance to the Great Smokies National Park, a popular destination for visitors to the area.
Blount Partnership Director of Tourism Kim Mitchell encourages visitors to follow through with their plans to visit the Peaceful Side of the Smoky Mountains in Blount County, Tennessee, but to utilize the Townsend Visitors Center for information to know the areas and services that are open and available.
“The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is open for business,” said Mitchell. “There is beautiful scenery to see and trails to hike and bike, along with all the wonderful restaurants, accommodations and attractions in Blount County. The Townsend Visitors Center will be a helpful resource during the shutdown to educate visitors and guide them to an enjoyable vacation in the area.”
For more information and resources to plan a trip to the Peaceful Side of the Smoky Mountains, visit www.smokymountains.org. The Townsend Visitors Center can be reached at (800) 525-6834.