East Tennessee's Big Weekend Profits

We've been calling this a quadruple whammy weekend and the cash registers are starting to show us why.

So many events bringing in so many visitors and so much money.

Although yesterday was Black Friday, many East Tennesseans continued to hit up local businesses this weekend, and store owners say they couldn't be happier.

"We opened up yesterday morning at ten a.m. and it has been a steady stream ever since," said Larsen Jay.

Thousands of families hit the ice on Market Square this weekend but they didn't stop there.

"It generates money and people from downtown and helps the businesses downtown and brings people into the part of the city," said Jay.

A part of the city that most people wouldn't frequent until the ice rink came along last year.

"We talked to a lot of businesses last year and they said their business last year was up between 20 and 200-percent over every other December before, and we really attribute a lot of that to the ice rink," said Jay.

Just a short drive away, businesses on the strip are cooking up wings for football fans.

"Today's been pretty busy in the morning. The early time kind of messed us up, but typical East Tenneessee fans, they were down here bright and early eating chicken wings and drinking beer, so it was good."

Wing Shack owner Justin George says today's UT-Kentucky game may be his last big money-maker for awhile.

"We're sad this is the last one, wish we had a couple more, but it's nice that everybody comes out and still supports the team."

Others skipped the game and went bargain hunting in Pigeon Forge.

"It's the time to shop. People's out shopping. You can see the crowds. They're coming in and out," said J.B. Meredith, the owner of Clothing World.

Bringing in record-sales for stores like Clothing World.

"It's very important for us to have Black Friday weekend because all businesses look forward to that. We look forward to that all year long."

Owner J.B. Meredith says this weekend's sales are what keeps his business alive.

"It just helps put you through the year because you've got slow months coming in January and February."

Many business owners say the big sales will continue through the holiday season to January.

If you are looking for something to do, Fantasy of Trees wraps up tomorrow at the Convention Center from noon to 6 p.m.

The WIVK Santa Claus Parade is Next Friday night on Gay Street.

The Skating Rink of Market Square is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on the weekends.

And Winterfest in Sevier County runs through Feburary.


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