Posts Tagged ‘LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge’

The Ripken Experience Hits Home Run for Season One in Pigeon Forge

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (May 24, 2017) – Marking its first anniversary in the Smoky Mountains, The Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge is batting a thousand with baseball fans and city officials alike.

Since opening its doors in March 2016, more than 800 youth baseball teams and 70 high school softball teams have taken the fields at The Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge for competition in 30 tournaments. In total, more than 12,000 players and coaches have traveled to play ball on fields that offer unobstructed views of the Great Smoky Mountains, with an additional 600 teams expected to travel to the complex for competition this summer.

“Not only did thousands of players, coaches and their families enjoy The Ripken Experience, but they also took advantage of our family-friendly vacation destination, which resulted in visitor spending of $30 million in Pigeon Forge,” said Eric Brackins, Pigeon Forge assistant city manager.

The appeal of Pigeon Forge as a family vacation destination was a major reason the city built the $22.5 million complex and contracted with Ripken Baseball to operate it.

In its first year, participants traveled to Pigeon Forge from 25 states and Canada, hailing from as far away as Alaska, California, Massachusetts, and Texas. Other states represented are Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

“America’s favorite pastime, baseball, and Pigeon Forge are a perfect combination,” said Leon Downey, executive director of the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism. “The Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge has given many folks a reason to visit Pigeon Forge for the first time, and once they see all that we have to offer, they want to return year after year.”

The Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge youth complex is located on a ridge above Pigeon Forge. Each field borrows its design inspiration from current and former ballparks highlighting the professional player progression from the Minor to Major Leagues, including Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore.

The others are Calfee Park in Pulaski, Va., the oldest park in the Appalachian League; Fluor Field in Greenville, S.C., known as “Little Fenway”; Engel Stadium in Chattanooga, Tenn., a filming location for the “42” movie about Jackie Robinson; Winston-Salem Ballpark in N.C.; and Isotopes Park in Albuquerque, N.M.

The Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge hosts tournaments nine months out of the year and offers year-round branded events in its 14,000-square-foot clubhouse. Tournaments are free to spectators, and parking is free at the complex.

Visitor information about Pigeon Forge is available online at MyPigeonForge.com and toll-free at 800-251-9100. To learn more Ripken Baseball and for The Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge tournament schedule, visit RipkenBaseball.com.

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Media Contacts:

Trish McGee for the Pigeon Forge Dept. of Tourism

tmcgee@bohanideas.com

615-327-1189 ext. 327

 

Katy Ford for The Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge

katy@maroonpr.com

443-864-4246

 

More than 500 Artful Quilts Expected at ‘A Mountain Quiltfest’ in Pigeon Forge

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (March 2017) – More than 500 artfully designed and carefully stitched quilts will compete for more than $20,000 in prize money at the 23rd A Mountain Quiltfest in Pigeon Forge next spring. The five-day event, one of biggest of its kind in the U.S., is March 21-25, 2017.

A Mountain Quiltfest will feature more than 60 classes and lectures about America’s popular folk art taught by world-class instructors. There is a fee for classes, but admission to the quilt displays and a vendor mall is free.

New in 2017, award-winning cowgirl poet Yvonne Hollenbeck and “the first lady of Western music” Jean Prescott will present five classes at A Mountain Quiltfest. Performing together, Hollenbeck and Prescott share the history of the Western prairie through song and poetry alongside historic photographs of quilters as well as generations-old quilts, including Hollenbeck’s collection of family quilts that spans 140 years. A free session hosted by the duo on March 23 at noon features Hollenbeck’s collection of aprons made from vintage feed sacks.

“A Mountain Quiltfest showcases how quilts were born of necessity and pieced from scrap fabric and feed sacks and have evolved into decorative masterpieces that are artfully designed, displayed and collected today,” said Butch Helton, manager of the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism’s special events office, which organizes the activity along with the Piecemakers and Sevier Valley Quilters guilds.

Twenty quilt categories will be displayed, including ones with this year’s special theme – two fabrics.

Displays and the festival’s classes, demonstrations and special activities are in the LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge, the city’s 232,000-square-foot events facility.

In addition to the classes, many people visit A Mountain Quiltfest to get appraisals of quilts that are family heirlooms.

Candace St. Lawrence, an American Quilter’s Society certified appraiser, will appraise quilts on March 21, 23, 24 and 25 by appointment. (Make appointments by contacting Lana Bowes at 865-429-7350 or lbowes@CityOfPigeonForge.com.)

Several antique quilt bed turnings are scheduled during the event. These are sessions where local quilters and guild members offer detailed information about collections of quilts made before 1966.

Information about visiting Pigeon Forge is at MyPigeonForge.com. Details of A Mountain Quiltfest are at MyPigeonForge.com/events/quiltfest.

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Media Contact:

Trish McGee

tmcgee@bohanideas.com

615-327-1189

 

Dolly Parton’s Nov. 15 ‘Pure & Simple’ Concert in Pigeon Forge Sold Out

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (July 1, 2016) — Pointing to the immense popularity of East Tennessee’s favorite entertainment icon, tickets for Dolly Parton’s  Nov. 15 Pure & Simple concert at the LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge have sold out. Tickets went on sale to Dollywood season passholders on June 15. Remaining tickets were made available to the general public this morning.

Parton currently is in the midst of the Pure & Simple tour, her first major North American concert tour in more than 25 years. Parton has crisscrossed the country performing to sold-out venues, but it is the trip home to Sevier County which may be the most special. Proceeds from the concert benefit Parton’s Imagination Library, a literacy program which provides free books to children from birth to age five.

Parking is free at the LeConte Center, however, concert goers should plan to arrive early for the best available parking. The show begins at 7 p.m.; doors open two hours prior to the start.

Parton is as busy as ever, and with the Pure & Simple tour, a new CD and much more in the works, she doesn’t plan on slowing down any time soon. Parton’s set-list during the tour includes a number of hit songs, with a few new offerings from her double-disc album Pure & Simple with Dolly’s Biggest Hits. She also is playing a number of hits that have not been heard live for decades.

Parton’s Imagination Library is administered through the Dollywood Foundation which partners with local sponsors to provide an age appropriate book each month to children from birth to age five in participating communities. To date, the Imagination Library has provided more than 80 million books in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia.

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About The Dollywood Company:   A highly-awarded and widely-recognized leader in the amusement industry, The Dollywood Company consists of the 150-acre Dollywood theme park; the 35-acre Dollywood’s Splash Country; Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort; and Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins. As unique as its namesake and owner Dolly Parton, Dollywood is the 2010 Applause Award winner, the theme park industry’s highest accolade; winner of nearly 30 Golden Ticket Awards; and recipient of 25 Brass Ring Awards for Live Entertainment (more than any other theme park in the world). In 2014, Dollywood was named a top three US theme park by USA Today and TripAdvisor recognized Dollywood as a top 20 worldwide theme park in 2015. Dollywood is open nine months a year (late March through early January) and offers rides and attractions, shows, and a dozen crafters authentic to the East Tennessee region.  Dollywood’s Splash Country, recognized by the Travel Channel as one of the country’s most beautiful waterparks and named 2009’s Must-See Waterpark by the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions, operates from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The 300-room Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort provides guests spectacular mountain views and family-friendly amenities next door to Dollywood theme park and Dollywood’s Splash Country. Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins offers luxurious cabin accommodations overlooking Dollywood. For more information, call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD or visit dollywood.com. Operating days and hours vary.

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Media Contacts:

Pete Owens: Director of Communications, (865) 428-9486, (865) 755-7972 or powens@dollywood.com

Wes Ramey: Public Relations Manager, (865) 428-9484, (865) 640-3805 or wramey@dollywood.com

Amber Davis: Publicist, (865) 428-9601, (865) 591-1002 or aldavis@dollywood.com

Ellen Liston: Publicist, (865) 428-9629, (865) 919-7001 or eliston@dollywood.com

 

Pigeon Forge’s New Rite of Spring: Wilderness Wildlife Week

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (May 2016) – Pigeon Forge, a gateway to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, has a new way to celebrate spring. It’s a five-day event saluting the national park, Mother Nature and the culture of the southern Appalachians.

It is Wilderness Wildlife Week from May 18-22, and it’s new as a springtime event after 25 years as part of Pigeon Forge Winterfest.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is America's most visited national park.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is America’s most visited national park.

You can learn about bears and trout, hone your nature photography skills, join a celebration of gospel singing, discover your artistic side, and even meet President Franklin Roosevelt – all for free. There are more than 250 programs at the LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge plus 40 hikes, field trips and excursions into the national park and surrounding areas.

Event manager Butch Helton said 2016 is special because this is the centennial year of the National Park Service, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the system’s most visited park. More than 10 million guests visit the 800-square-mile park every year

“We’re going to do our part to help more people understand and be active in our treasured neighbor,” Helton said.

President Roosevelt appears courtesy of actor Gary Stamm. Stamm’s keynote program on May 18, “A Fireside Chat with FDR: Celebrating a Century of the National Park Service,” will recall Roosevelt’s dedication of Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 1940.

An array of programs fills all five days. Among the topics:

  • 900 Miles and Then Some: A Hiking Journal
  • Logging Railroads of the Smokies
  • Waterfalls of the Southern Appalachians
  • Turn Your Photography into Art
  • Recording the Smokies: An Audio Journal
  • Leave No Trace: Principles of Outdoor Ethics
  • Fly Fishing the Smokies
  • Bears in the Back Seat
  • Painting the Smokies
  • Moonshine: The Past, Present and Future
  • A Miller’s Life (about the historic Old Mill in Pigeon Forge)
  • Birds of Prey Live Bird Show
  • The Art of Dowsing: Do You Have the Gift?
  • Gospel Music of the Smokies

Experts in numerous fields donate their time to deliver programs. Among them are current and retired National Park Service rangers, wildlife experts, artists, local historians and musicians.

In addition to FDR, evening programs include “Heaven and Nature Sing,” a presentation from Wilderness Wildlife Week creator Ken Jenkins; Dr. Bill Bass about the University of Tennessee’s famous “Body Farm”; and “Tales From Lost,” recollections from retired backcountry ranger Dwight McCarter about searches for people lost in the wilderness.

Hikes in the national park utilize numerous trails with various degrees of difficulty, and the excursions include a visit to the American Eagle Foundation’s research and rehabilitation facility at Dollywood.

On May 21, the first Appalachian Homecoming is planned at Patriot Park. This is a celebration of music, storytelling, children’s games and antique tractors. The Cades Cove Preservation Association will have a fundraising picnic, capped at 200 dinners, in conjunction with the event.

Wilderness Wildlife Week attracts people from throughout the U.S.  A voluntary sign-up sheet in 2015 identified visitors from 28 states. The most distant were from Alaska, California, New York and Wyoming.

Information about all aspects of visiting Pigeon Forge is online at MyPigeonForge.com and by calling 800-251-9100.

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Contact:

Tom Adkinson, APR

tadkinson@bohanideas.com

615-341-8796

 

Pigeon Forge Celebrates Great Smoky Mountains, Appalachian Heritage with Transformed Wilderness Wildlife Week

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (April 2015) – For five days in May, you can learn about bears and trout, hone your nature photography skills, join a celebration of gospel singing, discover your artistic side, and even meet President Franklin Roosevelt – all for free.

The occasion is the 26th annual Wilderness Wildlife Week, Pigeon Forge’s salute to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Mother Nature and the heritage of the Southern Appalachians. Dates are May 18-22 at the LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge.

For its first quarter-century, Wilderness Wildlife Week was a January event, and 2016 marks its move to springtime.

“Moving to spring opens the door to visitors who were reluctant to travel in winter. It also lets us introduce a variety of new programs,” said Leon Downey, executive director of the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism, which organizes the week filled with more than 250 programs and 40 hikes, field trips and excursions in the national park and surrounding area.

Event manager Butch Helton said 2016 is special because this is the centennial year of the National Park Service, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the system’s most visited park. More than 10 million guests visit the 800-square-mile park every year.

“We’re going to do our part to help more people understand and be active in our treasured neighbor,” Helton said.

President Roosevelt appears courtesy of actor Gary Stamm. Stamm’s keynote program on May 18, “A Fireside Chat with FDR: Celebrating a Century of the National Park Service,” will recall Roosevelt’s dedication of Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 1940.

An array of programs fills all five days. Among the topics:

  • 900 Miles and Then Some: A Hiking Journal
  • Logging Railroads of the Smokies
  • Waterfalls of the Southern Appalachians
  • Turn Your Photography into Art
  • Recording the Smokies: An Audio Journal
  • Leave No Trace: Principles of Outdoor Ethics
  • Fly Fishing the Smokies
  • Bears in the Back Seat
  • Painting the Smokies
  • Moonshine: The Past, Present and Future
  • A Miller’s Life (about the historic Old Mill in Pigeon Forge)
  • Birds of Prey Live Bird Show
  • The Art of Dowsing: Do You Have the Gift?
  • Gospel Music of the Smokies

Experts in numerous fields donate their time to deliver programs. Among them are current and retired National Park Service rangers, wildlife experts, artists, local historians and musicians.

In addition to FDR, evening programs include “Heaven and Nature Sing,” a presentation from Wilderness Wildlife Week creator Ken Jenkins; Dr. Bill Bass about the University of Tennessee’s famous “Body Farm”; and “Tales From Lost,” recollections from retired backcountry ranger Dwight McCarter about searches for people lost in the wilderness.

Complementing those programs is a series of hikes in the national park and field trips to destinations such as the American Eagle Foundation’s research and rehabilitation facility

On May 21, the first Appalachian Homecoming is planned at Patriot Park. This is a celebration of music, storytelling, children’s games and antique tractors. The Cades Cove Preservation Association will have a fundraising picnic, capped at 200 dinners, in conjunction with the event.

Wilderness Wildlife Week attracts people from throughout the U.S.  A voluntary sign-up sheet in 2015 identified visitors from 28 states. The most distant were from Alaska, California, New York and Wyoming.

Information about all aspects of visiting Pigeon Forge is online at MyPigeonForge.com and by calling 800-251-9100.

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Contact:

Tom Adkinson, APR

tadkinson@bohanideas.com

615-341-8796

 

Dolly Parton’s ‘Pure & Simple’ Concert Tour Visits Pigeon Forge This November

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (March 24, 2016) — Dolly Parton brings her Pure & Simple concert tour home to Sevier County, Tennessee, with a stop at the LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge on November 15 to benefit her Imagination Library. The Pure & Simple tour is Parton’s first North American concert tour in more than 25 years and takes her to more than 60 cities across the U.S. and Canada.

Tickets go on sale to the general public on July 1. Dollywood season passholders will have an opportunity to purchase concert tickets before the general public. Additional details about Parton’s November Pigeon Forge concert stop will be released at a later date.

Parton is as busy as ever, and with the Pure & Simple tour, a new CD and much more in the works, she doesn’t plan on slowing down any time soon.  Parton’s set-list during the tour includes a number of hit songs, with a few new offerings from her double-disc album Pure & Simple with Dolly’s Biggest Hits. She also will be playing a number of hits that have not been heard live for decades.

Parton’s Imagination Library is a literacy program administered through the Dollywood Foundation, which provides an age-appropriate book each month to children from birth to age five in participating communities. To date, the Imagination Library has provided more than 70 million books in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.

Pure & Simple with Dolly’s Biggest Hits two-CD set will include all new material as well as a compilation of Parton’s biggest hits. The entertainment icon is on one of the biggest hot streaks of her career after her hugely successful TV movie, “Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors,” attracted a network record of more than 15.8 million viewers. It was the most watched movie on network TV in more than three years and will be released on DVD May 3.

For more information about Dollywood, please visit www.dollywood.com or call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD. For more information about Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, please visit www.imaginationlibrary.com.


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About The Dollywood Company:  A highly-awarded and widely-recognized leader in the amusement industry, The Dollywood Company consists of the 150-acre Dollywood theme park; the 35-acre Dollywood’s Splash Country; Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort; and Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins. As unique as its namesake and owner Dolly Parton, Dollywood is the 2010 Applause Award winner, the theme park industry’s highest accolade; winner of nearly 30 Golden Ticket Awards; and recipient of 25 Brass Ring Awards for Live Entertainment (more than any other theme park in the world). In 2014, Dollywood was named a top three US theme park by USA Today and TripAdvisor recognized Dollywood as a top 20 worldwide theme park in 2015. Dollywood is open nine months a year (late March through early January) and offers rides and attractions, shows, and a dozen crafters authentic to the East Tennessee region.  Dollywood’s Splash Country, recognized by the Travel Channel as one of the country’s most beautiful waterparks and named 2009’s Must-See Waterpark by the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions, operates from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The 300-room Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort provides guests spectacular mountain views and family-friendly amenities next door to Dollywood theme park and Dollywood’s Splash Country. Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins offers luxurious cabin accommodations overlooking Dollywood. For more information, call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD or visit dollywood.com. Operating days and hours vary.

 Media Contacts:

Pete Owens: Director of Communications, (865) 428-9486, (865) 755-7972 or powens@dollywood.com

Wes Ramey: Public Relations Manager, (865) 428-9484, (865) 640-3805 or wramey@dollywood.com

Amber Davis: Publicist, (865) 428-9601, (865) 591-1002 or aldavis@dollywood.com

Ellen Liston: Publicist, (865) 428-9629, (865) 919-7001 or eliston@dollywood.com

 

 

Chuck Wagons Head to Pigeon Forge for Cowboy Cookoff

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (February 2016) — Visitors to Pigeon Forge can sample a taste of the Old West, prepared by authentic chuck wagon cooks, on Saturday, Feb. 20. The Saddle Up Chuck Wagon Cookoff and Lunch are part of Saddle Up, a five-day celebration of the American West, Feb. 17-21.

Cowboy cobbler in a dutch oven

Cowboy cobbler in a dutch oven

Chuck wagons were a vital part of America’s history, feeding cowboys as they drove cattle and horses west. Wagons just like those will be in Pigeon Forge. The cook teams will be anxious to show off their skills, as they compete for cash and prizes. After the food has been judged, each wagon will serve lunch for $12.50 per plate.

A record nine teams and wagons will travel from five states. Visitors can purchase lunch from wagons carrying names like Circle L Chuckwagon, Circle S Bar, Double X Ranch, Greenhorn Cattle Company, Grumpy’s Grub, JL Cattle Company, R/D Chuckwagon, Ramblin’ Rose, and Skillet & Spurs.

Each chuck wagon team will prepare chicken-fried steaks, potatoes, beans, bread, cornbread and a dessert. They are judged on individual food categories and the authenticity of wagons and camp set-ups. Winners will be announced Saturday afternoon, prior to a 6 p.m. Saddle Up concert at the LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge.

Tickets may be purchased in advance at www.MyPigeonForge.com/saddleup.  Remaining tickets will be sold onsite the day of the cookoff. Past years have seen more than 600 meals served.

The cookoff is at Clabough’s Campground on Wears Valley Road and is preceded by the Buckeroo Roundup, with a number of family-friendly activities that lead up to the cowboy-style lunch. Admission to the Buckeroo Roundup is free.

Ticket information and a complete schedule of all Saddle Up activities are available at www.MyPigeonForge.com/saddleup or by calling 1-800-251-9100.

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Award-winning Chuck Wagon Cook Returns to Pigeon Forge

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (February 2016) — Award-winning chuck wagon cook and entertainer Kent Rollins will be in Pigeon Forge during Saddle Up. He and his Red River Ranch chuck wagon and team will be at the LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge, where they will cook for three intimate evening dinner shows.

In addition to running a successful catering business and feeding cowboys on working ranches, Rollins has been featured on Food Network shows, including Throwdown! with Bobby Flay, Chopped Grill Masters and Chopped Redemption, NBC’s Food Fighters, and has appeared on Fox News and the Hallmark Channel. In 2015, he published a best-selling cookbook, A Taste of Cowboy.

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Contact:

Donnette Engebrecht

donnette@bohanideas.com

615-341-8768

 

‘A Mountain Quiltfest’ To Showcase Distinctive American Folk Art

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (March 2015) – Quilts – the kind your grandmother made with love, skill and tradition – are the focus of A Mountain Quiltfest in Pigeon Forge from March 18-21.

The festival revolves around almost 80 classes led by nationally recognized instructors, a 20-category competition with more than $22,000 in prizes, a vendor mall featuring a variety of goods and highly visual displays of quilts of many designs.

All activity is at the LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge, and admission is free. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In addition to the classes, many people visit A Mountain Quiltfest to get appraisals of quilts that are family heirlooms.

“You needn’t ever have held a quilting needle in your hand to enjoy ‘A Mountain Quiltfest,’” said Butch Helton, manager of the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism’s special events office, which organizes the activity along with the Piecemakers and Sevier Valley Quilters guilds.

“Absolutely everyone can appreciate the skill and artistry on display. In a sense, it’s a very special art show,” Helton said.

Expect to see numerous quilts with Christmas motifs because Christmas is the theme of a special competition category for 2015.

Sandra Palmer, an American Quilter’s Society certified appraiser, will appraise quilts on March 17, 19, 20 and 21 by appointment. She will handle walk-up appraisals if possible. (Make appointments by contacting Lana Bowes at 865-429-7350 or lbowes@CityOfPigeonForge.com.)

Eleven antique quilt bed turnings are scheduled over the event’s four days.  These are sessions where local quilters and guild members offer detailed information about collections of quilts made before 1965.

Information about visiting Pigeon Forge is at MyPigeonForge.com. Details of A Mountain Quiltfest are at MyPigeonForge.com/events/quiltfest.

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Contact:

Tom Adkinson, APR

tadkinson@bohanideas.com

615-341-8796

 

CXE Cheer Competition To Draw Thousands to Pigeon Forge

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (January 2015) – The Neon Extreme National Championships, a cheer competition that is part of the CXE GLOW TOUR, will showcase all-star, recreational, scholastic and collegiate talent in a competition that could bring as many as 9,000 visitors to Pigeon Forge this spring.

The event, an expansion project for CXE Cheer in New Market, Md., will be at the LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge on March 7-8, 2015.

The LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge expects up to 9,000 people at a cheer event in March.

The LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge expects up to 9,000 people at a cheer event in March.

CXE Cheer owner Tony Bennett anticipates up to 120 competitive teams accounting for 2,500 to 3,000 athletes, plus 5,000 to 6,000 family members and other spectators. Most competitors’ ages will range from 5-18, while there will be some college-age participants.

“There’s an always-entertaining parent division, too,” Bennett said.

Neon Extreme National Championships will be one of 10 CXE Cheer events in 2015 and the only one lasting two days. It is the first CXE event to offer more than $40,000 in cash prizes.

Participants come from all over the U.S. for CXE Cheer competitions, which usually are in arenas, convention center and college athletic facilities.

Bennett said he received an unsolicited overture from the LeConte Event Center and was intrigued enough to take a look.

“I loved the facility, but I didn’t know what to expect in the community before getting to town. I’d never been to Pigeon Forge,” he said, explaining that restaurants, attractions and activities for everyone who attends CXE Cheer event are vital to success.

“The instant I drove into town and saw all that is here, I said, ‘This is the place. This makes 100 percent sense,’” Bennett said.

The LeConte Event Center opened in October 2013. It was the site of more than two dozen tradeshows, consumer shows, assemblies and athletic events in its first year, with a total attendance of more than 250,000 people. Its biggest event was the National Quartet Convention last September, which featured multiple nights of full-house concerts.

Its first athletic event, the Make It Count Gymnastics Classic, drew approximately 800 gymnasts and hundreds more family members and spectators last February. That event returns Feb. 14-16, 2015.

Neon Extreme National Championships will fill the 100,500-square-foot LeConte Hall, the primary space of the 232,000-square-foot facility. The Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism operates the LeConte Event Center.

Details about the LeConte Event Center are at LeConteCenter.com, and information about visiting Pigeon Forge is at MyPigeonForge.com.

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Contact:

Tom Adkinson, APR

615-341-8796

tadkinson@bohanideas.com

 

LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge Pulls in 250,000 People, Generates Millions of Dollars in Local Spending, Taxes

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (January 2015) – Pigeon Forge’s events center in its first year pumped multiple millions of dollars into the local economy and had an estimated attendance of more than 250,000 people.

Independent research on just three of the 25 events to date – the National Quartet Convention, the Celebrators Conference and the Fall Rod Run – estimated $24.2 million in local spending, primarily for lodging, dining, attractions and shopping.Schatz_L5C3283

Those three events delivered an estimated $2.4 million in taxes to Pigeon Forge, Sevier County and the state of Tennessee.

The first major event in the LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge was the International Gift Exposition in the Smokies/Souvenir Super Show, a five-day show in November 2013.

It was followed by a mix of events that included religious conferences, other tradeshows, concert events, city-sponsored special events and athletic competitions.

“The purpose of the LeConte Event Center is to attract people to Pigeon Forge who will stay overnight and patronize businesses in many sectors of our economy. It is fulfilling its mission in a grand fashion,” said Leon Downey, executive director of the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism.

Downey pointed to the wide variety of events in the building as another indicator of success.

“The LeConte Event Center is flexible and adaptable to many types of events. Show producers have sought us out, and many booked multi-year contracts right away,” Downey said.

Downey labeled the National Quartet Convention as the “blockbuster event of the year.”

That event, known by its NQC initials, filled the LeConte Event Center for seven consecutive days of gospel music concerts. NQC executives said approximately 40,000 individuals came to Pigeon Forge for some part of that week.

Majority Opinion Research, an Atlanta marketing research firm, will study 10 events from the facility’s first year to determine their estimated economic impact.

Findings from just the first three completed studies estimate event attendee spending at $24.2 million, which generated more than $453,000 in Pigeon Forge taxes, more than $585,000 in Sevier County taxes and more than $1.4 million in state taxes.

“We asked NQC attendees whether they planned to return, and 47 percent of them said they planned to visit us again independent of NQC,” Downey said.

Facility manager Phil Campbell said more events will be researched in 2015.

“The cumulative picture will help us identify the types of events to pursue for open dates,” Campbell said.

The LeConte Event Center is a 232,599-square-foot facility located along the Little Pigeon River and beside the Pigeon Forge Greenway in the middle of Pigeon Forge.

Its primary feature is a 100,500-square-foot, clear-span hall. It also includes a 12,000-square-foot multi-purpose hall and up to 14 multi-purpose rooms that range from 500 to 2,000 square feet. It has adjacent parking for 1,600 vehicles.

Information about the LeConte Event Center and all aspects of visiting Pigeon Forge is at LeConteCenter.com and MyPigeonForge.com.

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Contact:

Tom Adkinson, APR

615-341-8796

Tadkinson@bohanideas.com