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More people visiting Abingdon

By Callan Gray, cgray@wcyb.com
Published On: Oct 06 2013 05:16:29 PM CDT
Tourism healthy in Abingdon
ABINGDON, Va. -

The Virginia Creeper Trail parking lot was full Sunday, as locals and tourists tried to get outside to enjoy the fall weather.

"You get a day like this, you don't miss it," said Roy Griffith, a Bristol resident.

Griffith likes to take his grandchildren out on the trail, he said, but when the leaves start changing, he has other company too.

"People from North Carolina, Georgia, some other people," Griffith told us. "Get something to drink, and meet them and eat with them, where they from?, and they absolutely love this region."

"We love it," said Louise Cape and Robin McKinney, from North Carolina.

Cape and McKinney visit Abingdon for a knitting camp a couple times year, this was their fifth trip.

"We wanted to go on the Creeper Trail," they said. "We'd never been on the Creeper Trail before but we heard a lot of fun things about it so we did that today. We did it yesterday too."

Bed and breakfast owner Joan Shaver told us the Creeper Trail is one of the main reasons she's so busy this fall.

"This particular time of year I'm pretty sure it's the Creeper Trail and the leaves turning," Shaver said. "People are trying to get that peak color."

Shaver tells us business was slow at the beginning of the year but now it is turning around.

"The last month it started to pick up," she said. "I think I've had a lot more calls in the past few weeks. I've had more people during the week than I normally get."

Shaver tells us nice weather also helps because people enjoy coming to Abingdon when they can get outdoors.

Shaver said her bed and breakfast was completely full this weekend, even overflowing into her extra apartment.

Governor Bob McDonnall has released a statement saying tourism throughout the Commonwealth was up four percent in 2012, compared to the year before.

That is the most recent tourism data.