National parks across the country missed out on nearly 8 million visits and gateway communities lost out on $414 million last October thanks to the government shutdown, according to a National Parks Service report. Among the parks affected, 45 lost $2 million or more in October visitor spending during the 16-day shutdown.
Great Smoky Mountain tops the list, having lost an estimated $25 million in October. All told, six parks—denoted by the large markers in the map below—lost $10 million or more. But there’s a critical caveat: the losses were only for October and may have been recouped. Here’s why:
Visitors may have deferred their visits, visited other recreation areas, chosen other recreation activities, or purchased other non-travel related goods and services. Additionally, the publicity of the NPS closings may have triggered others that were not originally intending to visit a park in October to make a trip once the shutdown ended. Therefore, the estimates in this summary are only associated with changes in October visitation to NPS park units, not the overall change in visitation to gateway communities.