SEVIER COUNTY (WVLT) -- When tourism officials got together in 1990, the entire area only brought in about $70,000 each winter. Compare that to $230,000 last year. Businesses hope it keeps going up.
"I remember a time when everybody went to Florida. Closed up their businesses and left," said Old Mill Square spokeswoman Donna Huffaker .
Not too long ago, Pigeon Forge in January was a ghost town.
Pigeon Forge Director of Tourism Leon Downey told us, "It was so slow that you could go on the parkway and shoot a shotgun in any direction and not worry about hitting anyone."
Finding a place to eat was a challenge, let alone stuff to do.
"It used to be you had a limited number of things you could do during the cold winter months if you weren't a real outdoors-man and didn't want to hike in the snow," added Wilderness at the Smokies spokesman Rick Laney.
Now , hotels like Wilderness offer indoor swimming and water sports, drawing thousands more people the area every winter.
Laney explained, "It flattens that tourism cycle. It's great because we love that big spike we get in the summer and we love the big spike during spring break, but we also want to fill in those dips and that's what we're doing right now."
The Titanic Museum is another big draw. Only open for a year and a half, the giant boat is already an institution on the Parkway. But owner John Joslyn says what attracted him to the area was the Great Smokey Mountain National Park.
"I had 11 million reasons to come here. It's called tourism," he said.
More people visit this national park than any other in the country.
"It's a beautiful area to visit. It's rolling hills and green and then on top of it you put up Dollywood, you have an aquarium here, you've got hotels, restaurants. It's a wonderful place to just be on vacation," Joslyn added.
And while you're here, you have to eat. The Old Mill Restaurant has been grinding corn since 1830, while watching the tourism industry develop.
Huffaker said, "Every year we have more and more people and it's almost come to full cycle. Every month, even in the wintertime is busy now."
This weekend the K2 Volleyball Tournament is in town. That's 10,000 people staying in Sevier County. It's expected to bring just under a million dollars to the area.
In February you can head to Pigeon Forge for "Saddle Up." That's a four day Wild West themed festival.