Smoky Mountains park back to normal operations post-shutdown


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Great Smoky Mountains National Park has resumed regular operations after the end of the partial federal government shutdown.

Park officials said Monday that visitor centers have reopened seven days a week and reservation services for the frontcountry and backcountry are fully operational. All park staffers are working again.

Unrelatedly, winter weather caused the park to shut down two visitor centers, administrative offices and most roads Tuesday.

During the shutdown that began Dec. 22, the park along the Tennessee-North Carolina border stayed open and maintained many basic services on weekends and holidays with money from partners and recreation fee revenues.

Park officials say visitors may see delays this spring in opening some park campgrounds, picnic areas and seasonal roads due to the shorter timeframe to hire seasonal workers and plan projects.

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