Doug Thompson


Parkway sites reopening

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Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway

Attractions closed last year on the Blue Ridge Parkway because of budget cuts reopen this summer, but some only on weekends or later than normal in the season.

Slated to hang out the “Welcome” mat include the Rocky Knob Visitors Center in Floyd County on Saturdays and Sundays starting May 24 and Smart View Picnic area daily starting June 14.

Other locations that will come back to life include Roanoke Mountain Campground on May 9 and the facilities Sunday concert series on May 25.

Mabry Mill, with a new vendor running the popular attraction’s popular attraction’s restaurant, will open the restaurant on May 1 and the park attractions on May 25.

“We are very happy to restore services at a number of facilities this season,” Parkway superintendent Mark Woods said in a news release. “We recognize how important these areas are to local communities and the traveling public. The parkway is an important resource for many reasons for many people. Restoring services at these facilities is an honor for us.”

Reopening of the Parkway attractions fly in the face of some local predictions that the closures at Rocky Knob and Smart View would be permanent.

2 Responses to Parkway sites reopening

  1. Larry & Jan Hicks March 23, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    The following comment is taken from Felicia Shelor’s Poor Farmers Market Facebook page. The businesses on the Blue Ridge Pkwy are already having a rough time due to the downturn in the economy and cannot survive without tourist trade.

    Poor Farmers Market

    17 hours ago · Edited

    I Think My Government is About to Ruin Me

    “I’m very stressed out about the many ways bad government is harming my business . One of the ways is the new Park Service Policy of arbitrarily closing the Parkway in times and places it has never been closed before, and then harassing and warning and issuing tickets to people who did not know they were doing anything wrong. The negative experience the travelers are having with the Park Rangers will make them feel like never coming back here again. My business absolutely cannot survive without the Parkway visitors. If you feel you have been treated unfairly on the Parkway please let me know. I am documenting the accounts. And please don’t stop coming up here. This is one of the most beautiful places on earth. And we must have your business to survive. Just be careful not to break any of their new rules. Watch out for all their new signs. You travelers and visitors are our honored guests. The Park Rangers should respect you as our guests and NOT see you as their subjects. I’m afraid government is slipping out of the hands of the people and we are becoming the “subjects” of the government.”

    Doug, this is of utmost importance because it affects us all, directly or indirectly. We must rally behind our local businesses, especially those on the pkwy. Would you provide the names and contact information of government officials responsible for pkwy. management? We must speak up or, sadly, these businesses will become only fond memories.

  2. Larry & Jan Hicks March 23, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    “When the people fear the government that is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty”-Thomas Jefferson