City of Gatlinburg Opens to General Public, Welcomes Tourism

The Gatlinburg wildfires last week took a devastating toll on one of Tennessee’s most popular travel destinations, the Great Smoky Mountains. Hotels, resorts, cabins, and private homes were destroyed or damaged by the fires, and cleanup is still underway in certain areas. However, the City of Gatlinburg has announced that it is ready to welcome the public again.

The wildfires affected hundreds of structures around Sevier County, which lies just southeast of Knoxville. Many local residents and visitors were displaced, with widespread evacuations in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge due to high winds fanning the flames. Popular local attractions like Dollywood were even affected, with the park having to close its gates for a short time. However, now that the flames have died down and the smoke has cleared, the public may return to the area.

The City of Gatlinburg announced that the public may return on Friday, December 9th. While the cleanup and rebuilding process may take several more weeks, or even months, to complete, many major roadways will be clear and people may return to enjoy the hiking, fishing, and rafting that makes the Great Smoky Mountains area popular.

As the cleanup continues, affected hotels and resorts will likely begin to start accepting travelers once again. Keep checking back with The Timeshare Authority for updates on local properties and restoration efforts.