Smoke from North Georgia wildfire affecting some businesses

- Smoke from the Rough Ridge wildfire is causing some businesses in Gilmer County to take a blow.

Brent Pierce said sales are down 75 percent at their family run business, Antique Show in Downtown Ellijay.

“Here lately it’s been a little bit down because a lot people do not want to come and get out in the smoke, they do not want to walk around town,” said Brent Pierce.

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Over at 1907 in Downtown Ellijay, there are mostly empty table and chairs at a restaurant that is usually buzzing.

“On an evening like this we would have anywhere from 80 to 90 people for the evening,” said Chris Adgate, the executive chef and general manager at 1907 Restaurant and Bar. “Right now downstairs we have six at the bar and a table of six, so that is 12 people.”

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Not everyone feels like this.  Greg Spencer is a Blue Ridge Lodging Association board member and said as for cabin rentals, its business as usual.

“We have had a lot of questions,” said Greg Spencer.  “We have had no cancelations; our company has had no cancelations.”

Spencer said they have re-scheduled some guests who have children with asthma or other health concerns.

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The Rough Ridge fire is now at more than 24,000 acres and is 40 percent contained. The wildfire is not affecting structures and no homes are threatened, but some counties are under a burn ban.

“The biggest disappointment our guests have had is that they cannot have S’mores with their kids,” said Spencer. “There is zero outdoor burning. I feel for them.”

The Blue Ridge Lodging Association has setup a section on their website with updates on the Rough Ridge fire along with links to a live camera in Downtown Blue Ridge for guests who want to know more about the wildfire before planning their trip.

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