$20 Million In Dollywood Projects Adds To Pigeon Forge Tourism Growth

Thursday, August 17, 2006 - by Tom Adkinson

Pigeon Forge tourism leaders cheer a new $17.5 million roller coaster, called Mystery Mine, as well as a $2.75 million expansion at Dollywood's Splash Country water park, according to entertainer Dolly Parton and officials of the family theme park.

The elaborate roller coaster, the largest capital investment in the park's history, will be in the Timber Canyon area. The area opened in 2004 with Thunderhead, which coaster enthusiasts have voted the world's number one wooden coaster, and expanded this year with a ride called Timber Tower.

The addition to Dollywood's Splash Country is The Cascades, a 7,500-square-foot leisure pool with a beach-style entry. Its centerpiece is a waterfall that spills from a giant rock grotto. As with Mystery Mine, The Cascades is the largest capital investment in the water park, which opened in 2001.

"The more than $20 million represented by Mystery Mine and The Cascades demonstrate that Dollywood's management understands the value of keeping attractions fresh, exciting and inviting," said Leon Downey, executive director of the Pigeon Forge Tourism Department.

"We see that same spirit with tourism investments and additions all over
town," he continued.

Mr. Downey noted that developments throughout Pigeon Forge continue to provide visitors new reasons to visit.

Among them:
* WonderWorks, a $9 million attraction that combines science with
entertainment and described as an amusement park for the mind, which opened this summer.
* Helicopter Headquarters, an $8 million attraction devoted to the history and development of helicopter flight.
* "The Miracle," a multi-million dollar, multi-media production in a
1,700-seat theater that chronicles the life of Jesus.
* Expansion of the $15 million Walden's Landing development, which has added new restaurant and retail space.
* Zorb, an innovative ride invented in New Zealand that features inflatable plastic spheres big enough to hold human passengers for rides that careen down a hillside. This is a $1.2 million project.

In addition, two multi-faceted resort developments continue to take shape, both featuring retail space, restaurants, lodging and attractions:
* Pigeon Falls and Main Street Marketplace, which developers label a $500 million project.
* Belle Island Village, which developers value at $60 million.

"Pigeon Forge is a vibrant destination that attracts extraordinarily good tourism investments. That's why our visitors are so loyal. They enjoy what's here, and they always have new reasons to visit us again," Mr. Downey said.

Pigeon Forge, which has approximately 5,400 permanent residents, attracts approximately 11 million visitors each year. It is adjacent to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most visited national park in the U.S.

Visitors information is available online at www.MyPigeonForge.com or
toll-free at 800-251-9100.

Celebrating 100 Years Of The MoonPie In This Week’s Tennessee Tourism Round Up

The Tennessee Department of Tourism announces the following: You can taste it. The chocolate, marshmallow, and graham cracker treat has delighted taste buds for 100 years. Celebrate at the RC and MoonPie Festival in Bell Buckle. You can hear it. Music filling the Tennessee air from small town squares, on porches and even in caves this summer. It’s all just waiting to be experienced ... (click for more)

Tennessee Tourism Round Up: The Soundtrack Of Summer

The summer heats up in Tennessee as internationally-acclaimed music festivals sweep the state from Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, Tennessee; CMA Music Festival in Nashville; and Riverbend Festival in Chattanooga. See chart-topping performers and legendary musicians. It’s the “Soundtrack of America. Made in Tennessee.” June 8-11 Manchester – Bonnaroo Music ... (click for more)

Smith Denies He Told Young To Shoot Holsey In North Chattanooga Drug Deal That Cost A Life; Asks Jury To Spare Him Life Sentence

Briston "B.J." Smith told a Criminal Court jury on Friday afternoon that he never ordered Adram "A.B." Young to shot Charles "Chas" Holsey in a North Chattanooga drug deal that cost a life. Smith, who was 18 at the time and is now 20, asked the jury not to put him behind bars for life. The state is seeking a life sentence (51 years) on a first-degree felony murder charge. ... (click for more)

Jury Finds Milner Guilty Of Lesser Charge In Attack On Cancer Patient

A Criminal Court jury found 27-year-old Michael William Milner guilty of reckless endangerment in an attack on a cancer patient at an East Ridge motel on July 12, 2016. Milner had been charged with aggravated assault, which would have carried a possible prison sentence of 6-10 years because he was a Range II offender due to his prior record, prosecutor Bates Bryan said. The ... (click for more)

Exempt Volunteer Fire Departments From Procurement Policies - And Response (2)

The Hamilton County Commission just grouped a bunch of departments together in an attempt to reign in the CVB. I haven't spoken to any commissioners, but I truly believe it was unknowingly. By mandating that all non profits that receive 25 percent of their revenue follow county procurement policies, they might as well have padlocked all local volunteer fire departments. We expect ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Ghost & The Eclipse

So you don’t believe in ghosts, haints or spirits? And you don’t believe that smack in the middle of this August, it is going to be nighttime in the middle of the day? Then put on your seatbelt and sit next to me … First, the ghost. The 6 th Congressional District in the State of Georgia is in the northern part of Atlanta’s suburbs. It includes Roswell, Sandy Springs, Dunwoody ... (click for more)