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Biltmore Estate temporarily shutters, furloughs workers

These days the estate typically draws about 1.4 million visitors a year. It hasn't closed its doors since World War II.

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — The Biltmore Estate in North Carolina is furloughing 2,200 employees after temporarily closing its doors because of the coronavirus outbreak. 

The Asheville Citizen-Times reported Wednesday that the 8,000-acre estate hadn't closed its doors since World War II. It first opened to the public in 1930. 

The 250-room chateau was built by businessman George Vanderbilt in the late 19th Century. It anchors an estate that is home to a winery, hotels, restaurants and a working farm. 

The estate opened as a tourist attraction during the Great Depression as a way to help the area economically. 

These days the estate typically draws about 1.4 million visitors a year.  

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