Once considered largely to be worthless, national parks today are economic engines that generate $26.5 billion for the nation's economy.
Blue Ridge Parkway
The coming months could tell whether Xanterra Parks & Resorts and Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts are both still in an acquisition mode, or will look to stand pat, as concessions opportunities are weighed in Yosemite National Park and along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The natural geologic cut of the Appalachian Mountains, and the plentiful moisture and frequency of springs in the region, combine to produce a cascading system of waterworks from Shenandoah National Park down through the Blue Ridge Parkway and into Great Smoky Mountains National Park that provides more than enough incentive to take a hike.
A 21-mile stretch of the Blue Ridge Parkway that had been closed since last year for work to stabilize the pavement has been reopened to the motoring public.
The National Park Service recently released the prospectus for a ten-year contract to provide lodging, retail, and food and beverage services at Pisgah Inn on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Construction To Close Graveyard Fields Parking Area/Trailhead On Blue Ridge Parkway For Nearly Three Months
A makeover of the parking area at the Graveyard Fields Trailhead on the Blue Ridge Parkway will require the area to be closed for about 11 weeks, beginning April 22.
Barring a spring storm, facilities along the 469 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway will begin opening for the high season on April 1, with most facilities open by June 1.
Restoration work at Mabry Mill will require closure of a short stretch of the Blue Ridge Parkway beginning Monday.
When the National Park Service finalizes its visitation numbers for last year, don't be surprised to hear there was a decline from the 283 million tally made in 2012.
Maintenance work to cut back vegetation along a stretch of the Blue Ridge Parkway later this month will close about 21 miles of the scenic road for two weeks.