North Gatlinburg Renewal Begins
A client several years ago told me that he expected the Gatlinburg real estate landscape to change dramatically over the next 10 years. As old leaseholds expire, the city of Gatlinburg is definitely in a period of renewal. Currently looking something like the results of a major national disaster, the recent beginning of demolition visible as one enters the northern end of Gatlinburg is more proof of Gatlinburg's metamorphosis.
In the past few years, the addition of the Gatlinburg Aquarium of the Smokies, several new hotels near the south end of the city, the addition and renovation to Mills Auditorium and the Convention Center are all steps that have been made. Of course, the undergrounding of utility lines is another major positive.
The latest project, called "Gateway Gatlinburg" is a much more ambitious project and will certainly do a lot to improve the "red headed step child" north end of Gatlinburg. The new project, which will take a couple of years to create, will cover 8.1 acres and will include a new major hotel, condos on the river, five restaurants, and of course retail space. Rumor is that two restaurants have already committed - Red Lobster and Olive Garden are the names being whispered about. Based on their superlative performance in Pigeon Forge one can't be too surprised that they would want to be in such a prime location in Gatlinburg. The hotel pads are available for sale and it's not yet clear exactly what the final results will be. Still it is good to see the old, less than charming buildings coming down:
The new plan, although still in flux, looks something like this: