Fall colors mean big bucks for western North Carolina

<div class="meta image-caption"><div class="origin-logo origin-image wtvd"><span>WTVD</span></div><span class="caption-text">Hawksbill Mountain Trail, Linville Gorge Wilderness area, Pisgah National Forest (Ian Slack)</span></div>
- As the leaves change color in western North Carolina, green is the big color for most businesses.

October is one of the biggest months for businesses as tourists flock to the area to view the reds, oranges and yellows of the fall.

Western Carolina University economist Steve Morse told the Asheville Citizen-Times that October is like Black Friday in mountains of western North Carolina.

RELATED: Will it be an average or a spectacular leaf season in North Carolina?

A recent economic impact study from Tourism Economics found that Buncombe County attracted nearly 11 million visitors last year. Those visitors spent nearly $2 billion.

Marla Tambellini with the Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau said the fall foliage season is estimated to be responsible for about 12 percent of hotel occupancy for the year. She said demand is running ahead of last year's pace.

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