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The shutdown trickle-down continues

By Nadia Singh, nsingh@wdbj7.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 10:48:03 AM EST
Updated On: Oct 10 2013 11:14:40 PM EDT

Businesses along the Blue Ridge Parkway like The Peaks of Otter Lodge and Restaurant are situated on National Park land and have been forced to close because of the shutdown.

BEDFORD, Va. -

On day ten of the government shutdown, the consequences of the standoff in Washington are trickling down to more people in Southwest Virginia. One man says his profits are turning sour, but we just learned about another business that's not letting the shutdown shut its doors anymore.

Businesses along the Blue Ridge Parkway like The Peaks of Otter Lodge and Restaurant are situated on National Park land and have been forced to close because of the shutdown. But another business, not on federal land is also feeling the pinch.

"It's just been a bad, bad situation for us."

Danny Johnson owns and operates The Peaks of Otter Winery and Johnson's Orchards. He never thought the trickle down effects of the government shutdown, would hit this close to home.

"It's just cut our business completely off. The people are not on the parkway. It's nobody there. And there's nobody coming down. There's nobody to tell them what is down here," Johnson told Your Hometown News Leader.

Johnson is referring to the business he usually gets from the nearby Peaks of Otter Lodge and Restaurant. Johnson sends business to the Lodge and vice versa, but not this fall.
Visitors WDBJ7 spoke to came all the way from Virginia Beach to enjoy the lodge and the Southwest Virginia foliage.

"Day before we were going to leave we got an email saying it's closed due to the government shutdown," tourist, David Cash told WDBJ7. "It's federal land but the lodge and restaurant is leased out to a private corporation so they're taking money out of their pocket which is a violation of their lease in my opinion and it's just wrong."

The Mabry Mill Restaurant in Meadows of Dan is also privately run on government property. The concessionaire there struck a deal with the park service to re-open Friday morning at 8 a.m.

Good news Johnson hopes will carry over to all the businesses that attract tourists yearly.

"We will recover somehow or the other, but we certainly won't be able to recover by the government paying our loss of business."