Rudy Evenson, Park Information Officer
Sandy Springs, GA: On Thursday, park staff will be reopening all picnic areas, boat ramps, restrooms and parking lots along the 48 miles of river that makes up Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area.
“Our goal is to have all areas of the park open by 6 o’clock this evening,” said Acting Superintendent Scott Pfeninger, on Thursday. “Today is the first day park staff have been back in some of these areas, so we will be checking for any safety hazards. If we find trees down or other unsafe conditions, we may delay opening some sites until those are cleared up.”
The park had been closed since Oct. 1 as a result of the government shutdown.
Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area contributes $102.1 million per year to the economy of the Atlanta metropolitan area, which works out to approximately $280,000 per day. The economic impact of closing the park for 16 days was therefore a loss of some $4.48 million for the metro area. This impact was especially severe for the businesses that rely on visitation to the park, such as outfitters who rent boats or provide boating or fishing lessons or trips.
For a detailed report on the economic contributions of national parks, please visitwww.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/products.cfm#MGM and click on Economic Benefits to Local Communities from National Park Visitation, 2011.