Record Year For Tourism in Pigeon Forge

Following a year that saw visits to the Smoky Mountain area climb, Pigeon Forge recently announced that it had reached record numbers for revenue in 2012.

According to Pigeon Forge Mayor David Wear, the city took in more than $905 million in 2012. If you’re counting at home, that’s a $75 million jump over the previous year. The city posted double digit growth in its two largest business sectors: amusements and lodging.

The mayor points to the city’s residents, its businesses and the city government, all working together in order to achieve such numbers.

“We’ve been reporting this kind of growth for a number of years, but it seems to have hit a peak this year as the best year ever in the history of Pigeon Forge,” said Wear, looking ahead to another big year in 2013.

The city’s new LeConte Center is set to open this fall, which will provide another large venue for shows, events and assemblies.

Another big reason for such great numbers in 2012 was an increase in visitor spending. With more than 9 million people coming to town, sales tax revenues saw tremendous growth.

The numbers also mean no layoffs in city government, new equipment for the police and fire departments, and reassurance for other attractions to come forward. That includes the former Belle Island development, which is advertising a spring 2013 launch as “The Island.”

Wear also noted that the upcoming “liquor by the drink” vote would add even more tax revenue for the city.

“There are developments that we know about that are waiting to see how this vote goes. We are committed to business development, whether it passes or fails,” he added.