Autumn in Gatlinburg!
With leaves falling almost as fast as the stock market, this fall's color season may be unusally short but brilliantly beautiful nonetheless. We finally have had a break in the heat and some northern parts of Sevier County had their first light frost. Visitation to the Smokies has been off significantly this year and there are several potential reasons for the lackluster visitor count in 2008:
  • The economy as a whole has been rotten with jobs harder to find or even keep. This of course discourages people from spending money on vacations or anything else that isn't absolutely essential.
  • The sharp drop in the stock market has caused most of us to lose a lot of money in our retirement accounts which again discourages spending.
  • Gasoline prices were much higher than before during our prime summer month vacation season which has also caused changes in travel plans.

With all of the bad news it is encouraging that October occupancy rates are up across the area and there are other positive signs. The traffic congestion around the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge/Sevierville area is as frustrating as ever. You may not see this as good news but for those of us who live here we are SO glad to see the long lines of automobiles filled with vacationers headed for the mountains. I used to get really agitated when I became stuck in traffic but over the years I've learned to handle the stress by picturing a dollar sign over each vehicle in the line of traffic around me. Almost all of these drivers will stop somewhere today to eat, most will contribute to our local economy by purchasing some form of lodging for at least one evening, and every once in a while someone purchases real estate. The mental picture of all of those dollar signs floating above the sea of automobiles greatly reduces the stress for me.

Owning Smoky Mountain real estate is a great way to reduce the overall risk of your investment portfolio. If we have a major inflation at the end of this recession what better place to have your investment than in a solid asset like real estate and what better place to own real estate than at a place you love to come to? If you would like to invest in our Gatlinburg area real estate market and get some of your savings out of the stock market please contact me.

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