The Great Smoky Mountains: Open For Business And Ready To Welcome You Back

The Great Smoky Mountains Are Open For Business

As you guys know, Gatlinburg and the surrounding areas are one of my favorite places to visit in all of the world. Although the recent wildfires did a lot of damage, the area is making an awesome comeback. And a lot of the area wasn’t damaged at all. Besides helping those that lost homes and businesses in the wildfires, we also need to help the rest of the people in the area. One of the best ways to do that is to visit. It’s a tourism town, you know. 🙂

Visit The Great Smoky Mountains

My birthday is in just a few days and I will be the big 4-0! We plan to drive up for the day to celebrate. 🙂 If you have not been to the area before, be sure to check out some of the places we have visited in the past in The Great Smoky Mountains, Sevierville, Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. I will also link to some of our reviews of places that we have mentioned in the press release below. Trust me, there is no place like the Smokies. 🙂

Smoky Mountains Communities Unite To Support Area Tourism

SEVIER COUNTY, Tennessee (Dec. 5, 2016)- As the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee begin the recovery process following the Nov. 28 wildfires, Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevier County (Tennessee) tourism officials have united to reinforce a strong message delivered by Gatlinburg Mayor Mike Werner.

“If you really want to do something for Gatlinburg, come back and visit us,” Werner said in a Nov. 30 press conference, encouraging visitation as a show of support to the popular vacation destination located next door to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the nation’s most visited. Werner lost his home and business in the fire.

The area has received an overwhelming outpouring of donations, phone calls and support from community members. First responders from across the country helped battle the blaze.

“The generosity and concern shown to our community is a blessing beyond words,” said Mark Adams, Chief Executive Officer of the Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau. “But it has also reinforced to us that our community is not just here at home. Our community is all the folks who have visited with us through the years, who feel a very special connection to our cities and these mountains. They continue to ask us how they can best help us because they, too, want to see this area rebuild.”

According to Smoky Mountain Tourism Development Council Director Mary Hope Maples, tourism is the county’s largest industry. “Tourism is the lifeblood of Sevier County and its three gateway cities-Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. Our tourism officials have an obligation to our residents to sustain our tourism industry to ensure that employees have jobs to support themselves and their families.”

A Community Resource Center opened on Dec. 1 to assist residents with insurance claims, unemployment filings, building permits for both residential and commercial structures, driver’s license replacement and other processes necessary during the rebuilding process. In addition, several employment agencies are on site to help displaced workers find jobs.

Sevier County tourism officials are reinforcing the message that the vacation destination’s many attractions, theatres, restaurants and lodging properties are operating as usual after recent wildfires in the area. In Gatlinburg, the area surrounding downtown Gatlinburg experienced significant losses this week; however, the heart of the city’s town is intact. The structures along Gatlinburg’s main strip still stand, including Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, Ole Smoky Distillery, the Gatlinburg Space Needle, and the Convention Center.

Businesses in Pigeon Forge and Sevierville suffered no damages, and are operating as usual. Dollywood, the state’s most-visited ticketed attraction is open. Also, Smoky Mountain Winterfest festival, which spans all three cities, continues through Feb. 28. Restaurants and lodging properties in Pigeon Forge are operating on normal schedules.

“Many people have asked us how to help. One of the best ways to help the Smoky Mountains recover from the wildfire’s impact is to come visit us and help keep our community strong and working,” said Brenda McCroskey, Chief Executive Officer of the Sevierville Chamber of Commerce.

“We are happy to report that businesses along the Parkway in Sevierville, including Tanger Outlets and Apple Barn and Cider Mill, are open as usual and ready to help you enjoy your Smoky Mountain vacation,” McCroskey added.

“As we strive to keep our folks working so that they can support themselves and their families, our greater community can help us in several ways,” said Leon Downey, Executive Director of the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism. “If you have reservations, don’t cancel; come and see us during Winterfest. Consider us as you make your plans for spring break and next summer’s vacation. This will help us sustain our businesses and jobs.”

More great RV Camping Smoky Mountains ideas.

For more information about Smoky Mountain Winterfest as well as other information about visiting Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevier County, please visit

About Dawn McAlexander

Dawn is a full time travel and lifestyle blogger. Besides Cheap Is The New Classy, she also owns and writes for, an entertainment site. Her interests include traveling, home decor, DIY projects, organizing her home and enjoying a nice cup of coffee {or two}. She currently resides in North Carolina with her dog, Daisy.


  1. This is nice. Might book a trip there sometime this holiday.

  2. oh this sounds cool. i would love to head there for the holidays.

  3. Anyplace that is full of old history is always a place I want to visit. Plus this area looks really pretty and something for everyone to enjoy.

  4. My family and I have visited Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge many times. I was so saddened when I saw the destruction of the wildfires. So glad to see people coming together to help them rebuild.

  5. I’m glad to hear they’re not letting the fires beat them down. The Smokies have always been one of our favorite places to go.

  6. This is such pretty mountain town!! I was sad to hear of the fires, glad to hear they are still having people come for the holidays!

  7. This sounds like such a fabulous place to visit. I would love to take the family here on a vacation. There is so much to see and do here.

  8. Wow, it sounds like there are some seriously fabulous places to visit! Sounds like my kind of place, putting it on the to-visit list for sure 😉

  9. Oh my goodness have an amazing birthday, what a beautiful sounding place to be spending the time surrounding it as well.

  10. Pam Wattenbarger says

    I was so sad to hear about the fires in Gatlinburg. We visit there all the time. I am sure they will make a great comeback and the area will be even nicer than before.

  11. This sounds awesome. There’s so many beautiful places to go. I keep adding new ones to my bucketlist when I read about them.

  12. Oh, this is very exciting! My family visited that area a few years ago on Christmas vacation and we all had a blast.

  13. This is such fantastic news! After the devastating fires, it is wonderful to see a community come together and rebuild.

  14. This sounds so fun. I would love to visit the Smokey Mountains.

  15. I am a mountaineer and the Smoky Mountains is one of the places I would love to explore with the gorgeous views. I’m sure I would enjoy my time there.

  16. Reesa Lewandowski says

    This is on my bucket list!!!! What an amazing trip!

  17. My favorite family vacation was to the Smoky Mountains 2 years ago. I am hoping that we can get back this summer. I’d gladly throw my tourism dollars their way to give them a much needed boost!

  18. Glad to hear that they’re reopening! This sounds like a great place to go for vacation.

  19. I remember visiting that whole area when I was a little kid. We went to the World’s Fair. I would love to take my kids there one day.

  20. I was so sad when I saw all about the fires nearby. I would definitely book a trip there to help out in any way I can.

  21. I’ve been there once years ago. Such a beautiful place! I can’t wait to go back with my family.

  22. Rebecca Swenor says

    Fires can be devastating to everyone and everything. My heart goes out to all in Gatlinburg,. I am so glad that the are opening and trying to move on from all that happened. We hope to get there sometime within the next 6 months. Thanks for sharing

  23. Happy Birthday…both my husband and I got into the big 40 land a bit ago.
    Looks like you have a great adventure planned for it!

  24. Ourfamilyworld says

    Well that place is very interesting to visist. This is really good for holidays epecially if you go there with your family.

  25. Angela Harris says

    I have never been to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, however it would service a great cause to visit. Thank you for sharing.

  26. Ann Bacciaglia says

    I am happy the businesses are open again. I have always wanted to go to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Hopefully next year I can make it.

  27. Bonnie @wemake7 says

    Sounds like a great place to visit and have a vacation or getaway. Maybe someday I can.

  28. I am a big fan of Gatlinburg ! My church group and I always took a summer trip into the mountains so we could just enjoy the view. I really hate what the fires did to it, but I know things will be re-built soon.

  29. Such a hard time there right now. My heart goes out to everyone!

  30. I would totally visit one of these days. Looks like it would be a great get away

  31. I can’t imagine how scary it was to be there. I’m glad they are making a comeback so very quickly.

  32. I cannot believe what is going on with the wildfires, it is just so sad! Hope they will get things under control and things will go back to normal again.

  33. We vacationed in the Great Smoky Mountains one year and it was by far one of my favorites. I loved the way that the smoke looked in the mountains and Gaitlinburg has the best aquarium!

  34. I have never been to the Smokey Mountains. I have some family around that area but have never been able to see it. I hear it is wonderful.

  35. This looks like a great trip. I’ve never been to the Smokey Mountains. I will have to look into booking a trip soon.

  36. I love the holidays and family trips during the holidays as well! This is my first Christmas living in Canada, and it actually feels like Christmas! I’m from Hawaii, so all of my Christmases were 80 degrees and beachy — not complaining, but they weren’t the typical Christmas. It’s nice to have snow for a change!