Pigeon Forge is banking on a big finish to the holiday shopping season based on numbers yielded by the past couple of months, and compared to those from the same time last year. This is the big money season for Pigeon Forge and towns like Gatlinburg and Sevierville: more shopping, more reservations, and more green.
Tourism keeps the wheels turning around here and December is the key month to closing out a very profitable year.
It’s already happening at some places. Huck Finn’s Catfish reports that December has been a very lucrative month for them with Winterfest kicking into high gear, the Christmas shopping season, and all the shows, decorations and the lights permeating town.
Other popular stops along the parkway like the Comedy Barn report sold old shows because of families coming in to the area for holiday vacations and shopping opportunities. It’s THE time of the year to be in the Smokies and Smoky Mountain towns like Pigeon Forge and its neighbors.
Even the recent dip in gas prices has helped spur the Smoky Mountain economy – an economy that has been gradually picking up steam over the past couple of years.
One great example is the success of Pigeon Forge’s Winterfest over the years. Since its inception in 1990, annual sales tax revenue derived from Winterfest was in the $56 million range. Twenty-three years later that number stands at more than $213 million and climbing every year. It’s also number that is being built on this month with millions expected to come to town in December alone.
If you were out and about in town on Black Friday or over the weekend, you likely heard an array of sounds that went some thing like this: “Cha-ching”!
Pigeon Forge enjoyed quite a busy Thanksgiving weekend in the retail department as businesses saw long lines and packed stores throughout the long weekend for most. But that wasn’t all, hotels, cabin rentals, and restaurants also felt the rush of tourists and tourist dollars this past holiday weekend. Many local restaurants were on an hour wait as shoppers rushed to get in a quick meal before hitting the shops again.
Officials with the Applewood Farmhouse Grill even served turkey to its guests on Thanksgiving – enough to account for almost half a ton of popular Thanksgiving white meat. In all, the Farmhouse and its neighboring Grill reported to having served around 4,000 people over the weekend.
Whether it was the wait at area restaurants, the booked cabins and hotels, or the long lines at store cash registers, this was a shopping season to remember in Pigeon Forge. Experts expect that it will continue through December.
According to a recent study done by the University of Tennessee, more tourism dollars are expected to be spent in the area this year as compared to last year following a good start to 2012. The study showed that Sevier County’s hotel earnings jumped 8.4 percent during the first three quarters of the year as compared to the first three quarters of 2011. With the busy holiday season in full swing don’t expect those numbers to drop off.
Lost among the long lines, large brand-marked bags, and weary feet, was Titanic Museum attraction’s Thanksgiving fireworks celebration. It was a great way to close out the holiday weekend and looks to be cementing itself as a new Pigeon Forge tradition. The 100th anniversary celebration of the Titanic’s journey was accompanied by a number of well-known Christmas carols, as well as machine-made snow, and was said to honor the 2,208 passengers that died aboard the Titanic that fateful night.
Get the latest weather conditions in Pigeon Forge, TN right here! We have the current weather, 10 day forecast, and what the weather it typically like all year long. We’ll help you prepare for your vacation to Pigeon Forge, TN.
With temperatures starting to dip, weather in Pigeon Forge can fluctuate from one end of the spectrum to another. The fall and winter seasons can see highs all the way up in the 70s and lows in the 20s so leaving a jacket or an extra set of clothes in your car isn’t that bad of an idea right now.
You wouldn’t be lying if you said that Pigeon Forge, TN in the Great Smoky Mountains is popularly known for truly having all 4 seasons. Each season seems to top the previous as spring brings colors, wildlife, smells, and incredible temperatures. Summer then ushers in the warm, sunny days perfect for hitting the pool, lake, or mountain streams. Fall is arguably the most popular season with the bursting colors, festivals, foods, and that sweet lil’ nip in the air. The winter season often blankets the mountains with a white layer of snow making cabins and fireplaces an extremely enjoyable vacation destination! There simply isn’t a “bad” time to visit Pigeon Forge, TN. There is always something to do no matter what the weather is!
For those of you that still love to plan and know what to expect, we have the average daily temperatures below as well as links to find the forecast and current weather conditions in Pigeon Forge, TN. On the bottom-right of every page on this site you will see the Pigeon Forge weather conditions along with the forecast and more info!
Get weather and road condition information in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, TN by calling:
Using your cell phone in TN: 511
Locally in Pigeon Forge: (865)436-1200
With fall colors already past peak and the first wintery blast having come and gone, you’d think the oncoming winter season would keep people away from such places as Pigeon Forge. Quite the contrary. Fall colors and the subsequent holiday shopping and ski season means busy hotels and cabin rental agencies in Pigeon Forge.
It starts out with the two middle weekends in October. That’s when people really start to pour in. On average, those are the peak weeks for fall foliage in this area, though on occasion the color stretches out to November. Much like it is doing this year.
For the local tourism departments, October is the second most popular month for visiting Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, and Sevierville, the first being July.
In addition to the fall colors, the holidays, events, and the kinds of shopping opportunities are more reasons Pigeon Forge cabins and the like will be packed through New Years.
In Pigeon Forge alone, Winterfest as well as Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas pack a number of events into a two month time period. And now you have countless tours going on around town shuttling people through town to see all the Christmas displays. Couple that with the events and sales offered at places like Five Oaks Tanger Outlet Mall and the Christmas Place and you’ve got one busy region.
And you can’t leave out Ober Gatlinburg in this conversation. Ober Gatlinburg’s shooting for a winter season that starts right after Thanksgiving, and with new snowmaking equipment that allows them to contuously make snow in milder weather conditions, they’re well on their way to doing that. Gatlinburg’s winter season not only brings in tourists and shoppers, but also winter sports enthusiasts who stay in the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge area.
Get Pigeon Forge information on fall color in late October – what species are still showing color and at what elevations.
The Smoky Mountain region is starting to enter the phase of fall where some places are still seeing peak color, while others are beginning to fade out and leaves are already falling.
In the highest elevations (above 5,500), autumn is already fading away. From 3,000-5,000 feet, most trees are at or slightly past peak, but are still very impressive. More and more reds can be seen in the hills and on the ridgelines, especially eastward on the North Carolina side of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
In the low lying foothills of the Smokies, fall colors are developing rapidly and really showing out. Lower elevations have already experienced the first frost of the season, which means that any remaining leaves are making their transformation as these words are read. If you’re out on the trail, you’ll notice the majestic reds of the black gum, dogwood, and sourwood trees. Meanwhile species like the tuliptree, black walnut, beech, spicebush, birch, and hickory gleam in gold as they take in the afternoon sun. Fall foliage is still on track to remain at peak levels in the lower elevations even through early November.
This slow-moving fall season isn’t unusual, but it sure is welcome. With a forecast calling for color to last through the first week of November in the Smoky Mountains, it’s no wonder people keep making last minute plans to visit the area. It’s not a far cry, but autumn displays could last through mid-November if the weather keeps at its current pace.
As for trees in the mid-elevation levels, a number of species are still showing great color. Oak trees are just now coming into their own. More common trees like the maples and the hickories are still as bright as ever. You’re bound to still see a few greens at the middle and lower elevations as some species try to contain themselves till the very end. So, chances are that you might get a glimpse of some new color should you decide to venture to the Smoky Mountains, and if the mild weather sticks around.
As always, the best fall color can be seen along roadways like Newfound Gap Road from the Alum Cave Bluffs Trailhead to the Kephart Prong Trailhead, the Foothills Parkway, and the Blue Ridge Parkway. If you want to get closer to nature, hike the Rich Mountain Road Loop just outside Cades Cove, Smokemont Loop, Chestnut Top Trail, and the Lower Mt. Cammerer Trail.
Pigeon Forge’s Patriot Park and the upcoming Wear Farm City Park give its residents two large outdoor venues for festivals, sports, and gatherings.
With so much focus put into the town’s tourism efforts each year, one has to wonder whether or not Pigeon Forge spends enough time addressing the needs of the town’s year-round residents. It’s with a hearty “Yes” that we can answer that question. One example is the town’s parks and recreations department and facilities that they oversee.
Patriot Park has long been Pigeon Forge’s main residential draw as a community gathering place and festival grounds for such events as the annual Patriot Festival every Fourth of July. With the completion of the new LeConte Center in 2013, Pigeon Forge is set to open a brand new park called Wear Farm City Park. More on the new Wear Farm City Park in a moment….
Located in Old Mill Square and adjacent to the Old Mill, Patriot Park is dedicated to all veterans from Sevier County that served in the military during wartime. The park features a walking track, which takes walkers and joggers along the Little Pigeon River. You’ll also see flags from all 50 states and from each branch of the military along the track. One of the nicest parts of the park is at its central point where a Patriot missile is mounted in a glass structure much like a greenhouse. Park-goers will recognize the Patriot missile – made famous during the first Gulf War, as well as a replica model of the Liberty Bell, which is also found at the park.
As previously mentioned, Patriot Park’s large open spaces are perfect for festivals and large gatherings. People can reserve a pavilion with 14 picnic tables and four electrical outlets by calling the Parks and Recreation Department at 865-429-7373. A large gazebo can also be reserved that overlooks the Little Pigeon River.
The yet-to-be-completed Wear Farm City Park, located at 647 Wears Valley Road, will be a 118 acre multi-use park and is scheduled for completion in the spring of 2013. Which means, Pigeon Forge is hopeful to start scheduling summer sporting events and well be available to large groups by then. As part of the park’s first 40 acre phase, five lighted baseball diamonds, a lighted football field, one multi-purpose field, two full playgrounds, three pavilions, a basketball court, walking trails, and concession stands are scheduled for construction.
Pigeon Forge also features an 86,000 square foot community center that includes basketball and racquetball courts as well as a 5,000 square foot fitness center and indoor jogging circuit. Guests can swim at the center’s indoor and outdoor pool, and bowl. Childcare is available for guests of the Pigeon Forge Community Center (170 Community Center Drive).
The new Leconte Center in Pigeon Forge is scheduled for completion a year from now and has already secured 4 large bookings.
With it’s scheduled completion date approximately a year from now, the new $45 million LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge is not waiting for its doors to open to begin making its mark in Pigeon Forge. So far, the yet-to-be-completed structure has booked four large events that are sure bring the tourism dollars Pigeon Forge and other Smoky Mountain area towns thrive on.
Its fourth major booking – The National Quartet Convention, has already brought numerous event-goers to other major markets in the United States and looks to do the same for Pigeon Forge. In all, the National Quartet Convention has committed the dates of September 21-28, 2014, and September 27-October 4, 2015.
As far as southern gospel music goes, the National Quartet Convention is a major event. An estimated 40,000 people from 40 states and several countries attended their event in Louisville, KY in 2012.
“This is great for Pigeon Forge. The National Quartet Convention represents a huge volume of room nights and restaurant business,” said Phil Campbell, president of the Pigeon Forge Hospitality Association.
“The NQC is another great example of what the LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge means to the local economy,” said Leon Downey, executive director of the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism. “One thing that really impressed the NQC staff was how quickly and effectively the Pigeon Forge Hospitality Association reacted to the prospect of the convention’s coming to Pigeon Forge. That interest really helped NQC decide on Pigeon Forge.”
In addition to all of the above, Pigeon Forge’s numerous lodging opportunities, a family atmosphere and the backdrop of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park all contributed to the selection of Pigeon Forge, according to Clarke Beasley, executive vice president of the National Quartet Convention.
With a September 2013 opening date, construction at the LeConte Center site has been moving at a rapid pace. Groundbreaking commenced in October 2011.
The center’s eye-catcher is a 100,000-square-foot, clear-span hall. The design and the hall’s amenities were exactly what Pigeon Forge was looking for in a building needed to bring in trade shows, sporting events, festivals and large assemblies like the National Quartet Convention.
Things will get started rather quickly upon completion of the structure with the International Gift Exposition in the Smokies/Souvenir Super Show in November 2013 – the center’s first booking. The Scott Dawson Evangelistic Association secured the center’s second and third bookings. They are expected to bring large conferences in December of 2013 and January 2014.
The National Quartet Convention was founded in 1957 by JD Sumner, a legend in the gospel world and former backup singer for Elvis Presley, and co-produced with James Blackwood.
Among their 2012 National Quartet Convention event performers are the Gaither Vocal Band, the Hoppers, the Kingdom Heirs, Gold City, Greater Vision, the Booth Brothers, Legacy Five, Triumphant Quartet and the Isaacs.
Veteran and military discounts in Pigeon Forge, TN are just a part of Celebrate Freedom during the month of August. Get all of the details along with a list of business that provide discounts to these heroes.
If you are in any branch of the active military, a veteran, or a first-responder (firefighter, law enforcement, or emergency medical services) then August is a great month to visit Pigeon Forge, TN. Over 70 businesses in Pigeon Forge will be offering special deals throughout the entire month of August in honor of the annual event Celebrate Freedom! This community-wide salute is our way of showing appreciation to those that have fought to keep us free & safe.
One of the best deals is $10 off admission to the Smith Family Theater plus a complementary pass to another one of their shows. They also provide discounts to some family and friends as well.
In order to take advantage of these offers, you must stop by the Pigeon Forge Welcome Center on the right as you’re coming into town (on the north end in front of The Miracle Theater ). When you present proof of duty, you will receive a Celebrate Freedom! VIP card. Simply present the VIP card at any of the 70+ businesses below in Pigeon Forge to receive the special offers. (For more information call 865-453-8574)
Inside Pigeon Forge is dedicated to providing information on everything that Pigeon Forge has to offer…from an insider’s perspective.
Inside Pigeon Forge is dedicated to providing information on everything that Pigeon Forge has to offer…from an insider’s perspective. “The Insider” is a native to Pigeon Forge with family that dates back in the area to the 1800’s. Over the years, The Insider has seen Pigeon Forge, TN grow from a farm town in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains to a booming tourist attraction that welcomes millions of visitors each year.
The years have provided The Insider with a lot of tips & tricks that make Pigeon Forge much more enjoyable, which will be made available here to showcase the best places to stay, eat, and see while you’re visiting Pigeon Forge. Whether you’re looking for log cabin rentals, chalets, restaurants, entertainment, etc Inside Pigeon Forge will provide you with every bit of information you need to enjoy your vacation. The Insider even knows many ways to avoid the traffic jams in Pigeon Forge…you don’t want to miss that!
So stay tuned to Inside Pigeon Forge as reviews and tips will constantly be posted to ensure that your vacation in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee is the best that it can possibly be!
The Inside Pigeon Forge Getaway Giveaway contest has been one of the most interesting & valuable contests I have ever witnessed! The insiders here have been blown away by the incredible tips & ideas that you all have provided! We thought we knew all there was to know about Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, but you’ve uncovered so many tips that we had never thought of!!
Now that you’ve done your part, it’s time for the judges to do ours. We’ll be narrowing down the best tips over the next few days and then we’ll pick one lucky person to award this amazing Pigeon Forge Getaway package of show tickets worth over $600!
Stay tuned for the announcement…it may just be you!!!
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