The Pisgah Inn, located on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Waynesville, North Carolina, thought they would stay open during the government shutdown. Why would they not be open since the Blue Ridge Parkway was open?
Much to Pisgah Inn owner Bruce O’Connell’s surprise, the United States Government forced the closure of his business.
O’Connell and the Pisgah Inn staff started serving customers around 11 AM on Friday, but at 12:30 PM, park rangers blocked the driveway to the establishment and would not let any new patrons pull into the parking lot or allow any new customers to enter the establishment.
The Inn has ninety employees, and due to the closure and lack of income some have had to move. Bruce does not employ any federal employees or require any federal money to directly run the business.
The park rangers have been blocking the driveway to the Inn since Friday and have been there twenty-four hours a day ever since Friday at 12:30 PM. O’Connell stated the rangers have been nothing but polite and some have actually been patrons in the past before the shutdown.
The rangers were called in and determined to be essential for them to sit in the driveway of Bruce’s business twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
The Pisgah Inn and many other private companies on or adjacent to park land that operate under a United States Park Service concessions contract have been forced to close. The other businesses that are still open on park land are operating under lease agreements which are allowed to stay open for business.
“If not now? When? If not me who?” O’Connell said to Breitbart News this morning in response to his willingness to speak about what is happening to his business.