The Island in Pigeon Forge set to open in June

by David  
Filed under Things to do

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.

On the Island website, www.islandinpigeonforge.com, is the following ticket price information for the wheel: $13 for riders 12 and older, $9 for children ages 3-11, $11 for seniors 60 and older, and free for children 2 years old or younger. There is a $50 VIP ride in a special gondola with red leather seats, a glass floor, twice as long a ride and a special souvenir.

An additional 12.25 percent tax rate is added to all ticket prices.

The wheel and the restaurants are currently hiring.

“There is a hiring booth on the Parkway next to Stages West, and we have jobs posted on the website,” Lucero said.

Article written by: Robbie Hargett

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