Sevierville, Sevier County (WVLT) - When it comes to tourism in Sevier County two cities come to mind, Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.
But as WVLT Volunteer TV's Stephen McLamb found out, there's another hot spot nearby for new development.
The Dumplin Valley Development, similar to Turkey Creek in West Knox County, was recently announced and an even larger one is in the works.
On the Parkway between I-40 and Downtown Sevierville it would probably be easier to count the properties that are not for sale.
The city's Events Center is under construction and is still months from opening.
Sevierville Mayor Bryan Atchley says, "It's not even built but for the first five years we're over fifty percent booked and only one of those events is already in the area so that's all new people, all new crowds that will be coming to the area."
That has new developments in the area popping up with the announcement of Dumplin Creek shopping area and the possibility of a much larger development in the works on the parkway.
"There’s anywhere from four to five hundred acres being rumored now to being looked at for a possible retail development," Atchley says.
Countless for sale signs are now on those vacant lots as land owners have seen property values rise substantially, from land prices of $100,000 an acre, ten years ago.
Dale Carr, a local Realtor says, "[$800,000] to a million to a 1.2, 1.3 million an acre."
Carr says increased tourism to Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg along the Parkway is making the area more attractive.
"There's over 24 to 25 million that pass by the interstate,” Carr says.
The question now is, just who will be filling those places once they're developed?
Mayor Atchley says, "you don't want to talk about rumors but a lot of times these rumors come true and we're looking for a lot of rumors to come true."
Atchley says the new Events Center is expected to open in September.
As far as the future, Carr says he wouldn't be surprised to see land values along that area reach five million an acre in the next five years.
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