A Preview of Pigeon Forge's Summer Attractions

Pigeon Forge (WVLT) - A new roller coaster, the Wonderworks Museum, and Bridgemont Center. Those are just a few of the new sights to you can see in the Smokies this year.

Volunteer TV's Whitney Daniel takes a look at the tourism industry and what folks are expecting for the 2007 season.

Folks with the chamber of commerce say they expect a big growth in tourism this year. It's mostly attributed to all the new attractions and sights you'll find in Sevier County.

One thing's for sure, whether it's the scenery, the shows or the shopping, there's something for everyone in the Smoky Mountains. 2007 is all about the added attractions and the timeless traditions.

"Dollywood is huge for the area," said Amanda Maples-Marr from the chamber of commerce.

The Mystery Mine Roller coaster opened April 13th, but when the park opened in 1987, it opened the door to Sevier County.

"It's just completely changed the tourism outlook in this area. We have so many people coming there," Maples-Marr said.

Last year, Dollywood saw more than two-million visitors.

"As people come into the town, of course, it brings extra business into our store," said Stephanie Saylor from Lid'l Dolly's Factory Store.

Folks vacation in the area for many reasons...

"We love the mountains. We love the forest scenery. It's just a really good hometown family place to go," Lea Havens from Gallatin said.

"We plan family reunions here. We love the mountains. We love to hike in the mountains, and there's just something intriguing about the area," Royce Havens from Gallatin said.

And when tourists aren't hiking through the hills, they're shelling out the bills!

"If you believe it, the number one activity is shopping," Maples-Marr said.

There are certainly enough places to do so. How about Smoky Mountain Candy, featuring hand-made brittle or Lid'l Dolly's Factory Store, specializing in hand-sewn Southern Belle dresses.

"They want a dress just like Miss Dolly wore for their little girl," Saylor said.

And that connection gives them a big boost in sales for summertime.

"Dollywood and Lid'l Dolly's, we're associated by name and that helps attract all kinds of people from everywhere all over the United States," Saylor said.

You'll find four new shows, a new entertainment and events center and three new water park hotels in the Smokies this season.


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