A nearby Virginia state park is seeing double the amount of visitors it saw last year. All those visitors are translating into business for nearby Southeastern Kentucky.
The Wilderness Road State Park in Virginia is just about ten minutes down the road from Middlesboro. Park officials say they are seeing a drastic increase in visitors. That is creating more business in nearby Kentucky.
It traces a path once carved by Daniel Boone into America's first western frontier and now more people than ever are retracing those steps making the park their destination.
"It's the economy, because you don't have to drive very far to go to a place like this, and enjoy this for a day," said Fern Poteet.
Nearly 34,000 people have visited the park just since the beginning of this year. That's double this same time period last year and park officials say all those visitors have generated more than two million dollars into the local economy.
"We do a lot of running back and forth, because we eat a lot and shop a lot in Middlesboro," Poteet said.
And the first thing they see when crossing over into Kentucky, is the Middlesboro KFC.
"We get a lot of business from the tourists, and we appreciate it. We enjoy meeting the different people from different areas," said Middlesboro KFC Manager Heather Strunk.
"Grab a sandwich, or a bucket of chicken or whatever, you know," said visitor Stanley R. King.
The Ferrell's say their granddaughters from Pike County prefer the park, to Dollywood.
"It's cheaper for us, we don't have to go that far, this is better," Wanda Ferrell said.
For more information on Wilderness Road State Park, just log on to http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state_parks/wil.shtml