Pigeon Forge Hotel Signs With Rates Closer To a Thing Of The Past

By: Stephen McLamb
By: Stephen McLamb

Pigeon Forge, Sevier County (WVLT) -- The City of Pigeon Forge is moving closer to eliminating the posting of rates outside hotels and motels.

This week, the city council put on first reading an ordinance to make that happen.

If it passes, it could cut down on false advertising.

Many people do what they can to save on hotels when traveling to Pigeon Forge.

Roger Bailey did just that before he left his West Virginia home for a weekend visit to the Sevier County city.

But he was surprised at what he found.

"We checked on the Internet,” he said. “You think you're probably getting the best price on the Internet but when you come down here you find rates, you know, you find on the signs a whole lot cheaper."

But when he went in to check, he got surprise number two.

"The rates that they have posted on the sign,” he said, “most of the time, you don't get those when you go in the door,"

"I call it shadiness,” said Henry Piarrot, the president of Pigeon Forge Hotel and Lodging.

That’s why Piarrot and others are asking the city council for an ordinance to stop all posting of hotel rates outside their businesses.

Hotel owners against the ordinance say they have a right to post rates and a right to free speech, but Piarrot says it's having an overall negative impact on visitors.

"They go back home and they don't say that John Doe's hotel does this, they go back and tell their friends ‘Pigeon Forge does this,’" he said.

According to Piarrot, 100 or more of the nearly 140 hotel owners and general managers support the ordinance.

Gatlinburg already has a similar ordinance in place.

"The people in Gatlinburg agree that it is good for the industry as a whole so no one has opposed it,” Piarrot said.

National Parks Resort and Lodge owner Jess Davis, a strong opponent of the ordinance, was unavailable for comment.

The city council plans to have a workshop to further discuss the issue; we'll pass that date along to you once it's in place.

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