What can you see now if you visit Gatlinburg after the fire?
— Dani Ruberti (@WVLTDani) December 9, 2016
GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WDEF) – Gatlinburg reopens to the public on Friday.
And local officials are actually encouraging you to pay them a visit, despite the devastating fire.
“If you really want to do something for Gatlinburg, come back and visit us” Mayor Mike Werner said after the fire.
But what is still standing and open for tourists?
The heart of the city is intact.
That includes Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, Ole Smoky Distillery, the Gatlinburg Space Needle, and the Convention Center.
The Downtown Parkway is now open to the public.
Our community is all the folks who have visited with us through the years, who feel a very special connection to our cities and these mountains. They continue to ask us how they can best help us because they, too, want to see this area rebuild,” said Mark Adams, Chief Executive Officer of the Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The fires didn’t touch businesses in Pigeon Forge or Sevierville and they are operating as usual.
Tanger Outlets, Apple Barn and Cider Mill are all open on the Parkway in Sevierville.
Dollywood is also open.
The annual Smoky Mountain Winterfest at all three cities is going on as scheduled through February 28th.
Townsend in Blount County is also open for business, including the entrance to Cades Cove.
“Many people have asked us how to help. One of the best ways to help the Smoky Mountains recover from the wildfire’s impact is to come visit us and help keep our community strong and working,” said Brenda McCroskey, Chief Executive Officer of the Sevierville Chamber of Commerce.
“As we strive to keep our folks working so that they can support themselves and their families, our greater community can help us in several ways,” said Leon Downey, Executive Director of the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism. “If you have reservations, don’t cancel; come and see us during Winterfest. Consider us as you make your plans for spring break and next summer’s vacation. This will help us sustain our businesses and jobs.”
As for the Great Smoky Mountain National Park goes, the north district of the park is also reopening.
The Gatlinburg Bypass, Little River Road and US Hwy 441 New Found Gap Road are all open today.
“We ask that you remain in your vehicles while traveling through burned areas and do not enter any burned areas by foot for your safety.”
Rex Howard’s Landscaping
#arrowmont lost a couple of buildings in the #gatlinburg wildfires, but the staff has remained positive and have been busy moving forward We have had 2 crews on site working on the cleaning up the grounds. There will be a very nice #Christmas event with #concert held here on Saturday! Stop by if you are in the area and enjoy the event. #landscape #leaves #groundsmaintenance #cleanup
Hidden Mountain Resort
Smoky Mountain Brewery getting ready to welcome guests!
Hidden Mountain Resort
#Gatlinburg breakfast of champions. And everyone else.
Picking up donuts for the staff, glad our friends from the Donut Friar are open and ready for business. #donutfriar #smokymountainstrong #smokymountains #prayforthesmokymountains