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Blue Ridge Parkway reverses decline in visitation

Thursday - 3/1/2012, 10:22am  ET

LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) - The Blue Ridge Parkway has reversed a recent decline in visitation.

A National Park Service report says the 469-mile scenic parkway drew 15.3 million recreation visits in 2011. That's up 6 percent from 14.5 million visits in 2010. Visitation had been declining for several years.

Parkway deputy superintendent Monika Mayr attributes the increase to weather and an advertising push in 2010 during the roadway's 75h anniversary.

Mayr tells The News and Advance that parkway officials are encouraged by the 2011 increase.

According to the report, visitors spent nearly $300 million along the parkway and in surrounding communities in 2010, the latest available data.

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Information from: The News & Advance, http://www.newsadvance.com/


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)