Pisgah Inn, Blue Ridge Parkway, NC, refuses to shut down: UPDATED 1 and 2Submitted by Puma for Life on Wed, 10/02/2013 - 22:18
I love this:
ASHEVILLE — Pisgah Inn general manager Rob Miller watched the news as World War II veterans pushed past barricades to get to their memorial in Washington.
He got to thinking about his own situation at the business he runs along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The government owns the building and the land. The National Park Service had given him until 6 p.m. Thursday to shut down and kick out his 78 guests.
He called Bruce O'Connell, the owner of Pisgah Inn, Inc., who is in Mexico. O’Connell had seen the same report about the veterans.
They came up with a bold plan.
“We thought if those guys can do it, we can make a stand,” he said. “We just decided that it is in the visitors’ best interest that we remain open.”
Miller told guests on Wednesday that the inn would not be closing. He said the response has been great.
He was dreading having to tell people, including one guest who is pregnant, that they can’t use the bathrooms anymore because the government is closed
The O’Connell family has operated the inn since 1977.
It’s one of the few remaining mom-and-pop concessionaires in the National Park Service.
Miller called around on Wednesday trying to find other concessionaires who would stand with him but had no luck.
Rangers block entrances to Inn:
I live near the area. Here is what is happening right now. The owner was on the radio a couple of hours ago saying that the rangers (that's who is armed) said they can't stop people from exercising their first amendment rights, so if you go up there, just say that's what you are doing and you can get on the grounds. You cannot drive into the grounds, but you can park along the road and walk in. So, I was listening again later and a woman said she had gone up there and tried to get on the grounds. The first ranger said the inn was closed and no she couldn't. Then, she walked down to another ranger and he said we can't stop someone from exercising their first amendment rights and she walked in.
Then, just about 20 minutes ago the owner was back on the radio. He said the inn is closed (again) and he didn't want to encourage people to get in trouble and that he had been in conversation with congress people (our congressman is Mark Meadows and he is one of us!) and park officials and he was hopeful there would be a positive outcome. Now, he didn't say don't come, but I think he was trying to protect himself and I guess I don't blame him, but he keeps giving mixed signals.
Alot of people were/are planning on going up there tomorrow. The weather is absolutely beautiful and I plan on hiking Mount Pisgah, which is just down the road from the inn, and then going over there to exercise my first amendment rights.
But, there actually is another way to walk onto the property from the Mount Pisgah parking lot; only about 1/2 - 1 mile through the woods and I bet the rangers haven't thought of that yet; hopefully they don't read this blog. It's possible there will be cars lined all up and down the parkway. Great day to celebrate our first amendment!