Summer tourism season ends, big numbers expected

As the summer travel season ends, companies are looking for another big year in the Great Smoky Mountains.

Pigeon Forge expecting a boost in tourism this summer. (Source: Kyle Grainger, WVLT)

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- As the summer travel season ends, companies are looking for another big year in the Great Smoky Mountains.

Last year, Pigeon Forge posted its highest tax revenues in the city's history. Mayor David Wear says he thinks this year could top last year's numbers.

"That's right, up on top of a record year. All smiles in Pigeon Forge," said Wear. "But that doesn't mean we turn the lights off. We've got a lot of stuff going on. Fall leads into Winterfest, leads into spring break next year. Pretty soon, the next two weekends we have car shows."

Rain did slow down some business throughout the summer. However, most companies say attendance when the sun was shining was good.

"At Dollywood I think we're a little like the farmer down the road. We could have used a little less rain but by no means did it dampen the enthusiasm of the families that came out to enjoy Dollywood's Great American Summer. It was fabulous," said Trish McGee, a Dollywood spokesperson.

Wear says he believes the strong brand for an affordable family vacation has helped the Smokies area tourism grow each year.

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