Tags:from The BBC
The general manager of the Cataloochee Ski Area in western North Carolina is wary of the so-called fiscal cliff — or fiscal slope, as some analysts call it.
He worries he won't be able to carry out improvements on his slopes if lawmakers can't agree on a deal by the end of the year. Hundreds of billions of dollars in tax rises and spending cuts are set to take effect on 1 January 2013.
"I had about a $600,000 capital budget planned for next year," he says. "So I think that a lot of that would go away if this is allowed to happen."
Mr Bates would like to cut a new ski trail, invest in a new grooming tractor and boost his snow-making capabilities.
About 35 miles (55km) away from Cataloochee, the Early Girl Eatery is serving up a busy Sunday brunch.
The restaurant's hostess in Asheville, North Carolina tells patrons the wait for a table is 45 minutes - and no-one seems to mind. The restaurant serves locally-raised southern food, such as trout and barbecued pork.
Gift shop manager Sue Pendley thinks no-one knows what will really happen
Manager Georgia Smith says she is not too worried about talk of the fiscal cliff. She is confident that a combination of tourist traffic and loyal customers would see the Early Girl Eatery through any drastic financial changes.
"We have a lot of really steady regulars," she says.
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