For those of you who have waited patiently for the re-opening of the The Island in Pigeon Forge, you won’t have to wait much longer. The once bankrupt Pigeon Forge attraction looks to be on track for a May or June grand re-opening.
In all, The Island at Pigeon Forge’s first phase is slated to consist of a dozen restaurants and retail shops, according to Tom Horne, operations manager. Plans include another Mellow Mushroom for Pigeon Forge, though on a much smaller scale, as well as Island Yogurt and The Timberwood Grill.
According to Horne, workers have been on site since October trying to ready the property for a May-June opening. Infrastructure work has been a main priority lately, especially as it pertains to the bridges connecting The Island with the Parkway.
For those still wondering about The Island moniker, this was the Belle Island project. It began in 2003, but financial difficulties eventually led to bankruptcy in 2009. Touted as a family entertainment venue, The Island was pushed as a destination at the time with highlights from screen star Debbie Reynolds and NASCAR’s Darrell Waltrip.
There is a major attraction in the final planning stages for The Island, though details have yet to be released. The property has already seen a 200-foot sky wheel, called “The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel,” added on to The Island property.
To Horne, nothing about a project so large in scale has been easy. “It takes a lot of effort from a lot of different people,” he said. “So it’s been a big undertaking.”
The project’s second phase will include a hotel, a water-themed attraction, and 50 more retailers/restaurants, which is currently slated for spring 2014 opening.
The Island in Pigeon Forge
130 & 131 Island Drive
Pigeon Forge, TN 37863