Hard Rock Cafe has moved to Pigeon Forge

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Thanks to the change in the Liquor law in Pigeon Forge, Hard Rock Cafe has moved to the old Tony Roma’s building at 2050 Parkway. This is a great place to have this restaurant, plenty of parking space and plenty of room for the smoky mountain tourists. This is a big win for the company, Pigeon Forge and the tourists.

The new Hard Rock Cafe location will seat 302 guests, feature private event space, free parking, patio seating, live music stage, and an interactive Rock Wall Solo- a 52″ high-resolution interactive touch wall that enables fans to virtually explore the world’s greatest music memorabilia collection.

Next time your vacationing in Pigeon Forge stop by the Hard Rock Cafe.

The Island in Pigeon Forge set to open in June

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PIGEON FORGE — Signs have been erected for several tenants of a nearly complete development in Pigeon Forge, and safety testing for the development’s centerpiece attraction is complete.

The first phase of the Island in Pigeon Forge will open mid-June, about a year and a half after new developers took over the abandoned Belle Island project.

The new project will include dining and shopping attractions, as well as the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel, the 200-foot attraction.

“We put up a main sign on the Parkway last week and finished safety testing the wheel,” said Kristy Lucero of Access Brand Strategies, the public relations group for the Island. “We’re working on getting everything up and running.”

The Island’s dining tenants include Mellow Mushroom, Timberwood Grill, Island Yogurt and Poyner’s Pommes Frites. Among shopping tenants are Alaska-based Island Trading Post and the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel Gift Shop.

Lucero said the developers plan to add more tenants, including a hotel, in the second phase.

“We still have spaces to fill, but I don’t have any specific information right now,” she said. “A hotel is in the plans, but nothing has been finalized.”

For the first phase, Lucero could not give a more specific opening date than mid-June.

“We’re still doing construction for some of the buildings, so for phase one we’re opening what we currently have,” she said. “Most of phase one are the dining options, and our centerpiece is the wheel.”

The wheel has 42 climate-controlled, glass gondolas that seat eight persons each. All ages can ride the three-revolution experience.
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Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville in Gatlinburg Gets Go Ahead

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The Mountain Press reports that plans for a Margaritaville restaurant in Gatlinburg, Tennessee have been given the go-ahead:

To local Parrotheads’ delight, the city’s Municipal/Regional Planning Commission approved the site plan for Margaritaville — a popular Jimmy Buffett-inspired casual dining chain — during its Monday evening meeting.

The 13,000-square foot restaurant will sit at 805 Parkway—a property that was home to the recently-demolished Midtown Lodge and an area where construction is almost completed on a two-story parking garage that’s accessible from River Road and Parkway. The restaurant and parking garage will share the same tract, City Planner David Ball explained.

“There’s enough space there for both,” he told the board.

The single-story building will boast an outdoor dining area and have approximately 400 seats. A retail store will be connected to the restaurant — located on the upper portion of the lot, at the corner of Maple Lane and Parkway — though the retail component would only be a small portion of the building, local developer Ned Vickers said.

“(Margaritavilles) are typically restaurants and retail,” he explained. “It’s a big restaurant.”

Plans are still in the initial stages, with changes to the building’s overall design still being considered. The concept still requires submittal to the city’s Environmental Design Review Board, Ball explained.

UPDATE: Margaritaville now going in Pigeon Forge, TN.

Dollywood’s Kids Fest

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The largest kids’ festival in the South, Dollywood’s KidsFest welcomes the Gazillion Bubble Show in 2012, filling the stage with astounding bubble artistry. Kid’s fest runs from June 17 – August 7, 2012.

At the Imagination Playhouse, the Penguin Players bring to life three classic children’s storybooks, including the inspiring Little Engine That Could. All three shows feature original sing-along songs written by Dolly. The forecast is calling for fun at the Imagination Cinema where the Cloudy with a Chance of Meat Balls™ 4D Experience fills the big screen.
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Pigeon Forge Votes Down Liquor Referendum

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Pigeon Forge, TN – May 11, 2011 – Voters in the Great Smoky Mountains city of Pigeon Forge have again voted down liquor by the drink, leaving Gatlinburg and Sevierville the only nearby resort towns serving alcohol in a region known for its moonshine heritage.

The unofficial result Tuesday was 590-482. The issue also lost in 2009 in Pigeon Forge.

Pastor Ronnie Reagan, who had become one of the most outspoken public faces of the opposition, was at the polls throughout the day and stayed to celebrate the results.

“I just thank the Lord everyone spoke out like they did,” he told The Mountain Press.

The paper said church groups appealed to old-line values, campaigning about the dangers of strong drink.

“I’ve just felt a good fellowship with these people throughout the day,” Reagan said.

Businesswoman Pam Ogle said she and the business community were shocked.
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Smoky Mountain Campgrounds opening for spring

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GATLINBURG (AP) – Spring is almost here, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is opening up its grounds for campers, horseback riders and mountain bikers.

Beginning Friday, the park service will begin opening up a majority of its campgrounds and secondary roads for spring visitors. Half of the 10 campgrounds in Tennessee and North Carolina can be reserved online.

The Smoky Mountain Riding Stable opened up on March 4. A number of other riding horseback stables and camps will open in the weeks ahead.

Visitors can go to www.recreation.gov to reserve campgrounds, all group campsites, horse camps and picnic shelters.

Concession stores offering firewood, camping supplies, food and bike rentals will also open up on a staggered basis.

Copyright 2011 AP

First legal Tennessee Moonshine distillery opening in Gatlinburg

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Tennessee’s first legal moonshine will soon be available to the public July 2nd.

What was once a very hard thing to get will soon be easily available to anyone over 21.

The distillery will have a grand opening celebration on Friday, July 2 and will offer free tours, free samples of moonshine to adults over 21, and moonshine for sale.

Ole Smoky Distillery is located at 903 Parkway, and will offer original unaged corn whiskey moonshine, apple pie moonshine, sweet tea moonshine, and peach moonshine. The facility will include a working still. Moonshine cherries will be available for purchase during the holiday season.  The Ole Smoky recipes are the product of the hard work and experience of local families who have made moonshine in the mountains for over a century. Dave Pickerell, who served as the Master Distiller for Maker’s Mark for over 15 years, assisted with the refinement of the recipes in order to ensure a superior mountain – made moonshine.

This was just pure genius to bring this to Tennessee.  Another cool thing is the moonshine will be distributed in Mason Jars.

Update: I went to the Distiller the other day. Right now when you go there they are allowing you 3 shots of Moonshine. They aren’t full shots but you get enough. They start you out with 2 clear shots of shine, and then give you a apple shine shot. You can’t buy the apple moonshine until sometime in October or November. It’s about 25.00 a jar. There is a 10% Local discount if you happen to live around Gatlinburg. The moonshine is 100 Proof, not quite as high as the illegal shine. Definately worth buying a few jars to have around the house when you entertain.

What are the most popular Gatlinburg attractions?

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Want to know some of the popular Gatlinburg attractions to enjoy during your vacation in the Smoky Mountains?

There are a lot of Attractions in the Smoky Mountains!  I’ll just go over a few of the popular ones.  In the future I’ll discuss them in a more detailed review. Read more

Smoky Mountain Hiking Tips

Posted by David  
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Here is an article to help you when you hike in the Smoky Mountains.

Backpacking is a fun and refreshing activity that can be fun for the whole family.You may be near the Mountains or in your back yard! No matter where you are it can be a great experience. You may be a photographer, a nature love, or just trying to get away from busy hectic city life for a while. Backpacking is a hobby (sport) that can be awesome for anyone.

There is no greater place to get connected to earth more than taking an inspiring hike in the hills. My favorite place to hike is the Smoky Mountains.There are places to hike in every state and it is pretty easy to find info on-line these days.

Not only is hiking fun and refreshing it is also very good for you. I admit hiking can be very tough on your legs and back and I have almost not made a few of my hikes. So always be prepared and try to get into shape before you take on to big of a trail! Be sure to stretch before you go and take break often.

There are two types of backpacks, external and internal framed. Each pack has its own advantages and disadvantages. The internal frame is great for hiking through heavy vegetation because it is protected from being snagged.
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Great Smoky Mountains National Park Road Trip

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Situated on both sides of Tennessee and North Carolina, the Great Smoky Mountains
National Park still remains the most popular national park for every road trip planner. Attracting over nine million adventurers and sightseers every year, it is the most visited national park in the United States. This summer, grab your gear and head off to the massive Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Planning your summer road trip will make you realize that there are so many things to do in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You would most certainly want to experience all of them. The size of the park might pose as overwhelming, but the Smoky Mountain Heritage Driving Tour will surely help you discover the park at your own pace on a self-guided automobile tour. Take your time driving yourself around to seek out landmarks, mountain culture and heritage, the captivating aura of the neighborhoods and, of course, the history of the Smoky Mountains.

If you are looking for a unique way to wander around the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, then the English Mountain Llama Trek is perfect for you. The llama treks also allow you to move at your own timetable as you are welcome to arrange them for varying lengths of time. You have the option to choose a trekking trip with a picnic or even an overnight stay at one of the cabins and/or campgrounds affiliated with English Mountain Llama Trek. Children six years of age and older can join the treks as long as they are accompanied by a responsible adult.
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