TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) -- For Tupelo businessman Mike Timmons, it's another busy day at his privately-owned campground.
It appears that business is good right now, and he said the peak travel season has not hit yet.
He said his family has owned the campground for many years and one big reason for its success is its proximity to the Natchez Trace Parkway.
"Economically, if we didn't have the Natchez Trace Parkway in this area, it would really hurt our business," said Timmons.
"We get quite a few groups traveling together that use the Trace Parkway. And then you have some just traveling by themselves. But they map their trips out a year ahead of time. At times, they may use the Natchez Trace Parkway to travel to our campgrounds," he continued.
Officials with the National Park Service said Wednesday that what Timmons is seeing is exactly what they have found in a study commissioned in 2011: The Natchez Trace Parkway is good for business.
Parkway officials said that each year some 6 million visitors will use the Natchez Trace Parkway, bringing with them some $93 million.
It's money that's spent in the communities and towns along the way, such as Tupelo.
Parkway Superintendent Dale Wilkerson did admit most of the money will go to cities like Nashville and Jackson but added all of the 400-plus communites and counties along the Trace benefit from sales of fuel, food, lodging and recreation.
Each visitor, he said, will spend about $16 a piece when he or she stops. Multiply that times 6 million and you can see why business owners like Mike Timmons are glad that the Natchez Trace Parkway is open.
Parkway officials did not mention the possibility of the looming sequestration as a reason for releasing the report at this time.