"We are getting a lot of calls from people checking on availability of rooms, and they're asking about the availability of gas," said John Winkenwerder, managing partner of the South Asheville Hotel Group, which operates three area Hampton Inns and the Homewood Suites on Tunnel Road.
"Most of the people I've talked to in the city's tourism industry are seeing a 25-35 percent decline in sales for September," Winkenwerder
said."That's a paralyzing number."Winkenwerder
also blamed the hurricanes that have blasted the Gulf Coast this month.The storm warnings caused many tourists from the Midwest who stop in Asheville on their way to Myrtle Beach or Florida to change their plans.
"You lay on the roller coaster stock market and now this gas shortage, and we're down 25 percent for the month," Winkenwerder