CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A deal to open the Great Smoky Mountains National Park parks in Tennessee for the weekend came too late for the state to send money to the federal government, Gov. Bill Haslam said Monday.
The price tag to remove the barriers to the country's most-visited national park? $60,100 per day.
Haslam told reporters that banks were already closed by the time the state was informed about how much money to wire to the federal government on Friday afternoon.
The governor said the closure of the Smokies is especially hard on the local economy, because this is normally the busiest time at the park. According to park officials, it averages about 1.1 million visitors in October alone.
"October for the Smokies and the people around it is like December for retailers in a mall. This is when all the business happens," he said. "Every weekend they lose is an irrecoverable revenue situation."
Haslam said talks about reopening the park would resume after the Columbus Day holiday on Monday.
"We'll resume those conversations first thing in the morning with the goal of hopefully being open at least by the weekend, if not before," he said.