UPDATE 11:05 a.m.:
The Pisgah Inn announced Wednesday that its efforts have been successful, and it will re-open at 5:00 p.m. if they “are lucky.”
“Please stay tuned and get ready to rhomba,” a message on the Inn’s website reads. “Please know that everything we did and are doing is based on our vision….’To ensure that every guest, employee and visitor has a positive experience and memory from their association/visit with Pisgah Inn.’”
“That was our rationale. No other agenda or hidden purpose played any role in our actions,” the message concludes. “Oh, we appreciate all of your support.”
The Pigsah Inn in North Carolina was ordered to shut its doors last week because of the partial government shutdown — though it receives no federal money, it sits on federal land — but the inn’s owner Bruce O’Connell fought the order and tried to remain open.
When he did, armed Park Rangers showed up and blocked each of the inn’s entrances. They haven’t left since.
“They have been there 24-hours a day since 12:30 last Friday,” O’Connell told Glenn Beck on Tuesday.
When asked why he fought the order, O’Connell responded easily: “Because I’m almost 60-years-old and I have nothing to lose anymore, and I’m fed up with it.”
O’Connell said multiple times that he is not standing up for his own sake, but for the sake of his ninety employees who are suffering and, unlike federal workers, have no chance of getting back pay courtesy of the taxpayer.
The small business owner said he has hired local and Washington lawyers, and while he fights to re-open his business, they’re still feeding the employees and “trying to make the best of a bad scene.”
When asked what the Park Rangers barricading the entrances to his business have to say, O’Connell responded: “The Rangers are my friends. I know them all. And they’re basically telling me they’re following orders, they have no choice but to follow orders, and I understand that. I really don’t expect them to risk their jobs, their retirement, their paychecks.”
He said his only choice is to “go to my governor again…go to my congressman again, and I keep fighting. I will not stop fighting.”
“I’ve been there 35 years, [and] let me tell you what’s strange here,” O’Connell added. “The Blue Ridge Parkway, which is the park, is open. They did not close the park…there are tourists traveling the whole 470-mile length of the Blue Ridge Parkway. I am a private concessioner, paying money in to the government, and yet I am closed. I’m having trouble understand that part of it.”
Beck asked if there’s any reason why the government would be targeting him, and the man responded that he is not particularly outspoken on politics, but he does believe in small government.
“Well, you’re an enemy of the state then,” Beck said sardonically.
“I’m sure by now I am,” O’Connell responded with a shake of the head.
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