CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — For North Carolina's tourism industry, it's a really bad time for a federal government shutdown.
In the western part of the state, this is one of the busiest months for the Blue Ridge Parkway. Tourists travel along the scenic roadway to see the fall foliage.
But visitor centers and other staffed facilities are closed, meaning travelers should consider how they plan to do their viewing.
The parkway is open — and the fall colors will peak in the next two weeks. But Tom Hardy, executive director of the Blue Ridge Parkway Association, is worried that some people will think the roadway is shut down.
"You know how bad news is, and unfortunately there are going to be some people who think the parkway is closed and gated. That is a negative," he said.
That could hurt businesses that depend on tourism. Many visitors stay in motels and bed-and-breakfast inns and shop in communities near the parkway.
Nationwide, some 800,000 federal workers were forced off the job Tuesday as a dispute in Congress over President Barack Obama's signature health care law reached a boiling point.
Not only were the effects being felt along the Blue Ridge Parkway, but hundreds of miles to the east in the Outer Banks.