Feds: TN Cost for Reopening Smokies $60K Per Day

By Associated Press | 

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Gov. Bill Haslam says a deal to open the Great Smoky Mountains National Park parks in Tennessee for the weekend came too late for the state to send money to the federal government.

The price tag? $60,000 per day.

Haslam told reporters in Clarksville on Monday that banks were already closed by the time the state was informed about how much money to wire to the federal government on Friday afternoon.

The governor said the closure of the Smokies is especially hard on the local economy, because October and early November are usually the busiest months at the country's most visited park. According to park officials, it averages about 1.1 million visitors in October alone.

Haslam said talks about reopening the park will resume this week.

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