by Leslee Kulba
Wild West blogger
The privately-owned Pisgah Inn is located on National Park property. As a result, it must be subject to periodic shopping by the park service for a better owner. The new owner will be selected by sealed bid, and owner Bruce O’Connell is concerned proprietors in his position are being outbid by chain investors.
O’Connell didn’t fall into better graces when he defied orders to shut down to make people put pressure on government to end the sequester. Continuing to operate the inn would have had a kindlier impact on the federal budget than the enforcement efforts did, but O’Connell acquiesced after park rangers blocked off the entrances to the inn. O’Connell voiced concern about what the closure would do to his employees and all the would-be guests who had to cancel plans. Local Tea Partiers pitched a protest.