Smoky Mountains Ends 2012 on High Note
A half-million more visitors toured the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 2012 than during the preceding year.
Figures released by the National Park Service showed nearly 9,686,000 people entered the park during last year. That compares with just below 9,009,000 the year before.
Park officials said a mild winter and spring during 2012 helped boost tourism in the nation's most-visited national park. More people were able to travel into the park and be outdoors due to the lack of ice and snow on the roads and trails. The mild weather in the colder seasons and warm summer set the tone for visitation as every month of 2012 saw an increase of visitors over those recorded in 2011.
December 2012 Park entries were 480,527 compared with 471,603 as seen in December 2011. This is a 1.9% increase over December 2011. Newfound Gap Road between Gatlinburg, TN and Cheorkee, NC was closed due to ice and snow on all or part of 6 days during December, but the holiday season brought a large number of visitors to the park during the latter part of the month.
There were nearly 2 percent more visitors in December than in the last month of 2011.
For the year, visits to the Smokies were up 7.5 percent from 2011.
The year with the largest number of visitors in this century was 2000, when 10.1 million people came to the Smokies.
The Derosia Team looks forward to another very successful year. We hope to see you in 2013.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!