The state of Gatlinburg

By: Stephen McLamb
By: Stephen McLamb

Sevier County (WVLT) One of Tennessee's tourism destinations is celebrating the achievements of the past, while officials look toward the future as they begin "Priority Gatlinburg".

Volunteer TV's Stephen McLamb has more.

Since the mid 1980's the city has tried to think progressively toward the future on what needs to be done to make the city nicer to live, work, and visit.

Today, they've been brainstorming and coming up with new ideas.

A lot of ideas are flowing at the Mills Conference Center as officials and the public put their heads together to try to find ways to make Gatlinburg a better place, a process called "Priority Gatlinburg."

Cindy Ogle, Gatlinburg city administrator says, "the first community wide goal setting process occurred in 1985 and 1986."

After more than twenty years, they're celebrating what they've been able to do.

Ogle continues, "once of the major accomplishments of the last probably ten or eleven years has been the under-grounding of the utilities."

But they're focused now on the future as more of the under-grounding is needed and they're thinking of new ideas.

Ideas of more green spaces like Wynatt Park.

Geoffrey Wolpert, Gatlinburg Gateway Foundation President says, "we want to make those spaces more developed and more available to people that come here."

With the lack of help for service related jobs, affordable housing is also on the table.

Wolpert continues, "they're not the highest income jobs but we need top quality workers in our businesses to serve our customers well."

Wolpert says they hope to build on what they've done while coming up with new ideas to keep Gatlinburg attractive.

"A great place to live. A great place to work. A great place to raise a family and a great place to visit."

At 6:00 tonight at the Mills Conference Center a public meeting will be held where there will be a presentation of the priorities.

But ideas cost money.

A later workshop will be held to identify where the resources can be found to fund the ideas.

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