The Photography of D L Ennis, and more!


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Gas prices, scenery deter Blue Ridge Parkway visitors

Image: by D L Ennis, A scene on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Autumn.

USA Today is reporting that it's the third consecutive year that the number of Blue Ridge Parkway visitors is down.

Officials worry high gas prices may be part to blame for a drop in the number of visitors to the Blue Ridge Parkway in 2005.

It's the third consecutive year the 70-year-old scenic road's popularity declined.

Winding over 400 miles through Virginia and North Carolina, the road is a source of lifeblood for the communities along the Blue Ridge, which count on parkway tourists for money.

Numbers released Jan. 8 show about 18.67 million people drove along the road in 2005. It marks a 6.3% decline from 2004, which saw 19.94 million visitors.

National Park Service officials offered a handful of potential reasons.

Wayne Strickland, executive director of the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission, a planning district that embraces various communities along the parkway, pointed squarely to rising gas prices.

You can read the rest of the story here.


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