Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Townsend Open and Welcoming Visitors
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Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Townsend Open and Welcoming Visitors

The people of Sevier County continue to show a spirit of resilience and optimism.

This morning, encouraging news updates were sent from our tourism partners in the Smoky Mountain region.

Gatlinburg Mayor Mike Werner, who lost his home and business, expressed the heart and resilience of this community during the daily press conference, stating, “If you want to help Gatlinburg, come back and visit us. We’re gonna be back…we’re gonna be better than ever.”

According to new information, Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Townsend have announced businesses and Cades Cove are open to welcome visitors.

Remarkably, Gatlinburg City Manager Cindy Ogle said in a press conference today they hope to open Gatlinburg’s downtown Parkway and River Road to the public on Wednesday, Dec. 7.

One way our industry can support tourism partners in the Smokies is to help reinforce the messages sent to media this morning.

The National Park Service announced today the Townsend, Tennessee entrance into Cades Cove, the popular Great Smoky Mountains scenic drive, is now open to the public.

Pigeon Forge businesses were not damaged during this week’s fires and are operating as usual. The city’s Winterfest festival continues, including several Christmas shows at various theaters. Dollywood theme park reopens on Friday, Dec. 2. Restaurants and lodging properties are operating on normal schedules.

Businesses in Sevierville, Dolly Parton’s hometown, are open and operating as usual including Wilderness at the Smokies and Tanger Outlets.

Tennessee's Volunteer and Generous Spirit Alive

The volunteer spirit of Tennessee is inspiring and unwavering. Individuals and companies are eager to help. Here are a few ways tourism partners in Tennessee can lend a hand to Sevier County families in need:

Donations can be sent to the Gatlinburg Relief Fund SmartBank, which is managed by the Gatlinburg Chamber Foundation:

P.O. Box 1910
Pigeon Forge, TN 37868
For more information, call 865-453-2650
Tennessee's Volunteer and Generous Spirit Alive

The Red Cross has asked for monetary donations only for the time being. You can text “REDCROSS” to 90999 to make a $10 donation or select a different amount. For more information on donations, visit their website >>> RED CROSS DONATION

The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency and Tennessee Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster have a call center to provide more information on donating goods and volunteer opportunities. For a list of the most-needed items, visit The call center is staffed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily; the phone number is 866-586-4483.

Originally published by Tennessee Department of Tourist Development on Dec 1, 2016