The National Park Service has announced that it has just awarded the current operator of the LeConte Lodge a new 10-year contract. The most interesting aspect of this new contract is that beginning in 2009, hikers will be able to purchase snacks, beverages and lunches at the Lodge.
Up till now, only Lodge guests were able to purchase meals at the Lodge.
What's your opinion on this?
Will this encourage more hikers to the mountain, and possibly cause issues with overuse on the trails?
Or, is this an innovative approach for the Park Service to exploit one of the unique features of the Smoky Mountains and increase revenues for a Park that desperately needs additional funding for various improvement projects.