ARARAT businesses have already seen the impact of the sudden closure of Aradale tours over concerns about lead in the paint.
Acacia Caravan Park co-owner Matt Linsley said the news had an instantaneous impact on weekend trade.
"We had plenty of last minute cancellations on the weekend, and for us as a business it hurts you," he said. "We refunded their money because we thought it wasn't fair that they couldn't turn up because of the ghost tours.
"What it does is stops people travelling to the area.
"We have bookings every weekend for the ghost tours. It is a large economy here for small businesses and the ripple effect goes onto restaurants, cafes ... because it was closed so instantly and there was no notification or anything it caught us off-guard."
Pyrenees Caravan Park co-owner Sam Rickinson said she was worried about longer term impacts on her business.
"Some people still came up this weekend, given it was short notice, but for the weekends over the rest of the month I think we've had 11 cancellations," she said.
"And people will leave it to the week that they're coming to cancel, too, so it will be difficult to fill (those last minute vacancies).
"It's a disaster. I think going forward it will be a big issue too. Who knows how long this place is going to be closed."
Mrs Rickinson said a huge proportion of weekend traffic was people visiting for the paranormal tours.
"I always ask people why they came why they came up when they check in and I would say on a Friday and Saturday 75 to 80 per cent of them say they have come for the ghost tours," she said.
"You do worry. I know it's a bit quieter now that the work has slowed down and one thing you could count on was weekend traffic.
"You start thinking about what other things you can do in terms of advertising but I feel like we've got our business out there, and if there's nothing in Ararat for people to come to they may not come at all."
Popular Barkly Street cafe Fred and Bet's manager Hannah Cunningham said the cafe hadn't seen much fall out yet.
"So far we haven't noticed any (change) but I do think there will be," she said.
"We get the odd person asking questions about it (the asylum) but it's mostly locals."
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