Posts Tagged ‘vacations’

The Ugly Truth of Wildlife Poaching: Alcatraz East Temporary Exhibit Opening Soon

PIGEON FORGE, Tennessee (April 25, 2017) – When a Minnesota-based dentist paid $54,000 to trophy hunt in Zimbabwe in 2015 with a professional guide, he unknowingly was about to kill the beloved and iconic lion Cecil. The images from that hunt went viral and although the dentist’s actions were not deemed illegal, the event sparked a worldwide outcry and raised awareness about the plight of wildlife, including lions, tigers, and elephants. Since that incident, the public is increasingly committed to protect wildlife and to put a stop to the trade of illegal wildlife poaching.

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the illegal wildlife trade is a multibillion-dollar business, that involves the illegal trade of live animals and objects made from their parts. Many of the animals involved are endangered, making the practice an international crisis. Poachers either capture animals to sell, or kill them for their fur, bones, shells, and other body parts to be used in everything from traditional medicines, to clothing and jewelry. Even locally, effecting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, bears are poached for their gallbladders and bile, which are used in traditional medicines. Only thirty-four states explicitly ban the trade, and these parts can go for $5,000 in Asia.  Those interested in learning more about the wildlife trade can attend the temporary exhibit “Ivory, Tortoise Shell & Fur: The Ugly Truth of Wildlife Trafficking” at Alcatraz East Crime Museum, which will open on May 15, 2017.

“This is a heartfelt exhibit that brings awareness to illegal wildlife trade, an important issue visitors won’t want to miss,” states Janine Vaccarello, chief operating officer for Alcatraz East, “This is a problem that is devastating to animals and the planet. The exhibit will also teach guests how to be proactive and find out how they can help.”

The exhibit was first displayed at the Crime Museum in Washington, DC in 2015 by the Center for Conservation Impact, in partnership with the Freeland Foundation, International Fund for Animal Welfare, INTERPOL, Kashmir World Foundation, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, WildAid, and Wildlife Trust of India.

“There was such a positive response to the exhibit, we felt the issue is too important to not share again with new audiences,” says Vaccarello.

Many people are unaware of how critical the poaching situation has become around the world, yet the statistics are alarming. It’s estimated that 97 percent of the world’s tigers have been lost in the last century, 76 percent of elephants have been lost during the last 13 years, and over 1,200 rhinoceros were killed last year alone. These animal populations have been depleted to supply black market demand for worthless natural medicines, jewelry and other souvenirs, and are considered status symbols, as the case with shark fin soup.

International travelers normally take home souvenirs from their trips, but what they may not realize is that the materials used to make those trinkets may have been illegally harvested from endangered and protected wildlife. These include items made from ivory and tortoise shell, so when shopping for souvenirs, it is best to ask questions about what products are made of, where it came from, as it may not be legal to bring back to the U.S. This exhibit will include items confiscated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other border agencies.

“Wildlife trafficking is a serious epidemic that is plaguing our world due to Asia’s sensational demand for Rhino Horn, which is made from nothing more than keratin, the same as our finger nails along with Elephant Ivory made from dentine, the same as the human tooth.” explains Katie Cleary, model, film producer and writer of “Give Me Shelter” available on Netflix, and founder of World Animal News which brings you the latest breaking animal welfare news from around the world. “The more that we are educated about wildlife crimes and trafficking of endangered species and the ways to stop it, the better equipped we are to bring it to an end and protect these innocent species before it’s too late.”

Recent news headlines show this problem is ongoing, with 18 rhino horns being seized in Mozambique in April, and news being shared about the illegal animal smuggling coming across the Mexican border, including of birds and lizards to be sold as pets in the U.S.

“The collaborators are excited Alcatraz East will feature our exhibit on the important and timely topic of illegal wildlife trafficking,” says Jennifer Sevin, president of the Center for Conservation Impact, a partner in the exhibit. “From ginseng to freshwater mussels and bears, illegal wildlife trafficking is as much a local issue as it is global.”

“Ivory, Tortoise Shell & Fur” begins May 15, 2017 and will run through Spring 2018. Alcatraz East officially opened December 16, 2016. The new crime museum is located at the entrance to The Island, at 2757 Parkway in Pigeon Forge, near the Margaritaville Hotel and Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen.

The 25,000-square-foot museum is designed with a jail façade, has a star-studded board of experts who make up the Advisory Board, including Jim Willett, a retired prison warden, Anthony Rivera, a combat veteran and Navy SEAL chief, and Judge Belvin Perry, Jr., who is best known for the Casey Anthony trial.

General admission tickets are $14.95 for children, $24.95 for adults. Group ticket sales are available. The museum will be open 365 days per year, from 10 am to 9 pm, with the last ticket sold 60 minutes before closing. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit: www.alcatrazeast.com.

About Alcatraz East

Alcatraz East is the most arresting crime museum in the United States. Guests encounter a unique journey into the history of American crime, crime solving, and our justice system. Through interactive exhibits and original artifacts, Alcatraz East is an entertaining and educational experience for all ages – so much fun it’s a crime! This family attraction will be located at the entrance of The Island, located at 2757 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN. For more information, visit www.alcatrazeast.com.

 

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Source:

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Illegal Wildlife Trade. https://www.fws.gov/international/travel-and-trade/illegal-wildlife-trade.html

Alcatraz East – Crime Museum To Open This Fall in Pigeon Forge

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (May 2016) Alcatraz East, a new crime museum, is scheduled to open this fall at the Island in Pigeon Forge.

The museum will give visitors the behind-the-scenes story to our nation’s crime history. The museum’s neighbors at The Island include Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen and Margaritaville Hotel and will offer historic objects and activities for the entire family.

“This is going to be the place for the public to learn about crime history, law enforcement, and all things related,” said Janine Vaccarello, chief operating officer for Alcatraz East. “We look forward to being part of this community!”

The museum’s façade will be themed as a 19th century prison, which was always the desire of museum-owner, John Morgan.

“He was originally inspired to do this project after visiting Alcatraz in San Francisco over 20 years ago,” said Vaccarello, “So it’s only fitting that we create John’s original vision.”

Morgan previously owned the Crime Museum in Washington, DC, which permanently closed on Sept. 30, 2015, allowing for the creation of a more ambitious attraction he says will be even better than the previously “must-see” DC museum.

The interactive museum will feature a variety of ways for visitors to learn more about criminal intent, criminal profiles, the penal system, victim’s stories, crime prevention, law enforcement, forensic science, and our justice system. Spread over two floors, the 24,000 square foot museum will include interactive displays on these subjects as well as original artifacts.

“Alcatraz East is going to make a great addition to our city,” said Earlene Teaster, the Pigeon Forge city manager. “Our city truly offers something for everyone, making it a great family-friendly destination. We look forward to having this museum become a part of our community.”

Some of the interactive features of the museum will be a crime scene investigation lab, a simulated shooting range, safe cracking, digital fingerprinting, and DUI interactive safety training. Artifacts from the museum’s extensive collection that will be on display include John Dillinger’s death mask, Al Capone’s rosary, a Bonnie & Clyde collection, the Bronco from the OJ chase, an FBI polygraph machine, Al Pacino’s submachine gun from the movie Scarface, items related to the 2012 Benghazi attack, and the latest in law enforcement technology. The museum’s mission is to provide guests of all ages with a memorable journey into the history of American crime and its consequences, law enforcement, forensic science, and CSI through a captivating interactive and entertaining educational experience.

There will be 20 different exhibit areas covering five themes for guests to explore; history of American crime, the consequences of crime, crime scene investigation, crime fighting, and pop culture.

“Last year we experienced record high visitors to our area,” said David Wear, Mayor of Pigeon Forge. “We know that this attraction will enhance our visitors’ family entertainment while staying with us.”

About Alcatraz East

Alcatraz East will be the most arresting crime museum in the United States. Guests of all ages will encounter a unique journey into the history of American crime, crime solving, and our justice system. Through interactive exhibits and original artifacts, Alcatraz East will be an entertaining and educational experience for all ages – so much fun it’s a crime! This family attraction will be located at the entrance of The Island, located at 2757 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN. For more information, visit www.alcatrazeast.com or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thB02zswa4I.

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Contact:

Cher Murphy PR

571-263-2128

Lucky Winners To Get Exclusive Concert from Maddie & Tae in Pigeon Forge

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (May 20, 2016) – The duo of Maddie & Tae is one of country music’s hot new acts, and the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism has booked the two highly declarative singers for a exclusive concert on July 31.

The audience will be limited to approximately 100 winners of the no-cost-to-enter Maddie & Tae Pigeon Forge Getaway sweepstakes that concludes May 31. To enter, visit MyPigeonForge.com/maddieandtae.

Maddie & Tae

Maddie & Tae

Maddie Marlow and Tae Dye brought their distinctive styles from Sugar Land, Texas, and Ada, Oklahoma, to Nashville in 2014 and scored immediate hits on their first album, “Start Here,” released in August 2015. The Academy of Country Music named them the 2015 Vocal Duo of the Year.

“Girl In A Country Song” got instant acknowledgement from NPR, Rolling Stone and David Letterman, and songs such as “Shut Up and Fish,” “Fly” and “Sierra” are securing new fans for Maddie & Tae.

“The music of Maddie & Tae is a treat, and the singers themselves are wonderful people. We wanted to present them to an appreciative and intimate audience, and we hope our contest winners become fans of Maddie & Tae and of Pigeon Forge,” said Leon Downey, executive director of the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism.

In addition to the concert, winners will meet Maddie & Tae and will receive a three-night Pigeon Forge vacation that includes admission to Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country, admission to almost two dozen other Pigeon Forge attractions, and $500 for travel expenses.

Pigeon Forge, a gateway to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, is one of America’s top family vacation destinations. Each year, more than 10 million people visit Pigeon Forge.

Information about all aspects of Pigeon Forge is available online at MyPigeonForge.com or 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

 

Fabulous Festivals Celebrate Every Season at Dollywood

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (March 24, 2016) — Dollywood guests know every season at the award-winning park presents a totally different and exciting atmosphere for guests. Much like the changing scenery in the nearby Great Smoky Mountains creates beautiful sights for visitors, Dollywood’s fabulous festivals provide a distinct and always-changing ambiance for those who come through the gates.

As Dollywood enters its third decade of providing memory-making moments for families, its fantastic festivals offer guests a multitude of opportunities they’ll find nowhere else. Free international stage productions and concerts by bluegrass and Southern gospel favorites, the eight-time winner for Best Christmas Event, as well as extended operating hours and a nightly fireworks show in the summer, combine with the park’s more than 40 rides and attractions to provide something for everyone. 

Dollywood’s Festival of Nations—March 19-April 18, 2016

Dollywood welcomes the world during Festival of Nations, a fascinating multi-cultural celebration! Featuring the traditional music, dance, food and art of nations from around the globe, Festival of Nations reminds guests of shared similarities while embracing unique, time-honored traditions. The headline show for 2016, Mother Africa, returns after its Dollywood debut in 2014. This renowned show combines skillful acrobatics, live music and traditional dance to delight audiences through a world-class demonstration celebrating Africa’s diverse traditions.  Major touring stage shows, internationally-known performance groups, various roaming musicians and more make Festival of Nations a fun, educational and exciting experience.  Authentic international cuisine and the daily celebrations by visiting nations throughout the park provide guests with an escape around the world without leaving the heart of the Smokies.

Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass—May 13- 22, 2016

Dollywood’s Barbeque & Bluegrass launches the unofficial start of summer and combines the tastiest barbeque in the South with the biggest names in bluegrass. This year’s festival features an impressive bluegrass lineup with a multitude of free daily concerts from an amazing collection of International Bluegrass Music Association award winners. This annual tradition wouldn’t be complete without pounds of saucy pulled pork, barbequed chicken and ribs by the slab. This family-favorite event is music to the ears… and a treat for the taste buds.

Dollywood’s Great American Summer—June 11-Aug. 7, 2016

Great American Summer provides families even more of what they already love—time together at Dollywood. This summertime celebration features extended park hours, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, giving families a unique chance to ride Dollywood’s world-class attractions, including Lightning Rod and Wild Eagle all day and well into the night! Families will love Chris Perondi’s Stunt Dog Show which returns to Dollywood in 2016. The high-flying antics of these powerful pooches will leave audiences begging for more. Perondi’s amazing animals have been featured on The Tonight Show, Ellen and The Oprah Winfrey Show. Great American Summer also features award-winning illusionist Brad Ross who takes audiences on an inspirational journey into a world of fun and magic. Each show features unbelievable magic, world-class illusions, hysterical comedy and audience interaction. To complete the day, the park’s festive nightly fireworks show features uplifting music and interactive elements to celebrate the fun of Dollywood after dark! Each evening a high-spirited dance party entertains guests in Wilderness Pass with a 15-minute party designed to get every member of the family on their feet prior to Dolly’s Nights of Many Colors!

Dollywood’s National Southern Gospel & Harvest Celebration presented by Humana—Sept. 30- Oct. 29, 2016

With a colorful swatch of orange, red, yellow and gold painted across the landscape, fall in the Great Smoky Mountains provides the perfect festive backdrop for Dollywood’s National Southern Gospel & Harvest Celebration. Featuring a lineup which includes some of the biggest names in Southern gospel music, the soul-stirring sounds of beautiful harmonies ring through the crisp autumn air as free daily concerts take place on the park’s various stages. Visiting artisans from across the country share their talents through an array of handmade wares, spanning from functional to decorative. Each day is a picture-perfect opportunity to enjoy the traditional experiences of a Smoky Mountain harvest!

Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana—Nov. 5, 2016-Jan. 4, 2017

An eight-time winner of America’s Best Christmas Event, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas presented by Humana features four million holiday lights and spectacular holiday performances, including traditional favorites like It’s a Wonderful Life and Christmas in the Smokies. Guests also can experience the fun and excitement of Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer and friends. Many of Dollywood’s signature rides and attractions operate in a festive environment designed to get everyone into the spirit of the season. From the award-winning shows and elaborate holiday decorations to the twinkling lights and Christmas-themed menus, Dollywood captures the essence of a Smoky Mountain Christmas.

 

For more information about Dollywood’s fabulous festivals, visit www.dollywood.com or call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD.

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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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Contacts

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

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

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

Ellen Liston, 865-428-9629 or 865-919-7001
Publicist 
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

 

What’s New in Pigeon Forge for 2016

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (January 2016) – Baseballs, a violin and a speeding roller coaster top the list of what’s new in Pigeon Forge for 2016. The little city with only 6,000 residents is ready to show some Great Smoky Mountain hospitality to millions of guests.

Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge – Listen for the crack of the bat and the snap of horsehide hitting leather when the $22.5 million Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge opens on March 9.

Clubhouse at the Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge

Clubhouse at the Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge

This six-stadium youth baseball complex will be a tournament destination for elite teams nine months of the year. Each field borrows its design from well-known professional ballparks, including Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore.

Former Major League Baseball players Cal Ripken Jr. and Bill Ripken are behind the company that will draw thousands of young players to a site that offers spectacular views of the Great Smoky Mountains.

Lightning Rod at Dollywood – The Dollywood theme park will add another superlative attraction this spring. It’s Lightning Rod, the world’s fastest wooden roller coaster and the world’s first launching wooden roller coaster. The thrilling $22 million ride is the largest attraction investment in the park’s history.

Lightning Rod, the world's fastest wooden roller coaster

Lightning Rod, the world’s fastest wooden roller coaster

Themed after a tricked out 1950s-era hot rod, Lightning Rod launches riders from zero to 45 mph to a point 20 stories high. Lightning Rod races down a 165-foot drop and propels guests along its 3,800-foot-long track to a top speed of 73 mph, the fastest speed for a wooden coaster in the world.

Lighting Rod joins other Dollywood thrill rides such as Wild Eagle, the country’s first wing coaster; FireChaser Express, the nation’s first dual-launch family coaster; and Thunderhead, a wooden coaster consistently ranked one of the world’s top five wooden coasters. At the adjacent Dollywood’s Splash Country water park, RiverRush stands as Tennessee’s first and only water coaster.

Wallace Hartley Violin – When the RMS Titanic sank into the frigid North Atlantic, a legend was born about the ship’s bandleader, Wallace Hartley. His cherished violin was found strapped to his body after the sinking and was returned to his fiancée, only to be lost to the world for almost a century. It sold at auction in 2013 for $1.7 million.

Pigeon Forge visitors can see the Hartley violin in a special exhibition at the Titanic Museum Attraction from June 5-Aug. 14. Every day, there will be special early-morning admission for a limited number of Titanic enthusiasts to view the violin and shoot heirloom photos.

RetroRunning All Around Town – There’s a special running event April 29-31 exclusively for people age 40 and older. The LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge will host RetroRunning, a one-of-a-kind race because it’s the odd length of 5 miles, 916 yards. As race organizers note, everyone who runs will set a personal best for that distance.

The weekend will include programs from Jeff Galloway, the nation’s leading running coach and columnist for Runner’s World, and Rudy Maxa, travel journalist and the voice of National Geographic Traveler’s “Walks of a Lifetime” podcast.

New Hotels – Pigeon Forge’s amazing inventory of more than 14,000 lodging units will grow in 2016 with the opening of a 137-room Courtyard by Marriott property, a 112-room Hilton Garden Inn and the 178-room Black Fox Lodge.

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

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Contact:

Tom Adkinson, APR

615-341-8796

Tadkinson@bohanideas.com

 

 

 

The Band Perry Added to Dollywood’s Showcase of Stars

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (Aug. 20, 2015)—Dollywood hosts The Band Perry in concert as part of the Showcase of Stars on Saturday, Sept. 19. Tickets to The Band Perry concert go on sale to Dollywood season passholders on Friday, Aug. 21.

One of the most dynamic acts in music today, the sibling trio proved to be a powerful new force when they delivered their platinum self-titled debut, The Band Perry, which offered up five hit singles, including the quintuple-platinum chart-topper “If I Die Young.” In recent years, the band has earned multiple awards from The Academy of Country Music, The Country Music Association, CMT Music Awards and The American Country Awards, including a 2014 ACM award for Vocal Group of the Year. This is the first time the group from nearby Greeneville, Tennessee, has performed at Dollywood.

Dolly Parton announced the return of Dollywood’s popular Showcase of Stars concert series in March as part of the award-winning park’s 30thanniversary season. Parton, whose last benefit concert at Dollywood was in 2005, kicked off the series with four sold-out concerts Aug. 8-9 at D.P.’s Celebrity Theater and raised $500,000 in the process. Showcase of Stars offers guests the experience of great performances in an intimate setting, while allowing them to simultaneously support a worthy cause. Dollywood season passholders have the first opportunity to purchase tickets to the show. Passholders will receive an email with an exclusive link to purchase. Any remaining tickets will be made available to the general public at a later date.

Dolly 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.

For more information about Dollywood’s 30th anniversary season and Showcase of Stars, please visit www.dollywood.com or call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD.

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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 Smoky Mountain Cabins; and Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort, opening in 2015. 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 24 Brass Ring Awards for Live Entertainment (more than any other theme park in the world). In 2014, Dollywood was named a top three theme park by USA Today. Dollywood, celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2015, 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. Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins offers luxurious cabin accommodations overlooking Dollywood. 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. For more information, call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD or visit dollywood.com. Operating days and hours vary.

Media Contacts:

Pete Owens: Public Relations Director, (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

For B-roll, photography and more information, visit the Dollywood Media Room at http://www.dollywood.com/Media/Media-Room.aspx.

 

 

St. Somewhere Spa Opens at Margaritaville Island Hotel in Pigeon Forge

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (July 2015) – There’s an island-inspired spa experience in the Great Smoky Mountains with this summer’s opening of the St. Somewhere Spa inside the Margaritaville Island Hotel on The Island – Pigeon Forge’s new shopping, dining and entertainment district.

The 5,200-square-foot luxury spa  offers hotel guests and local visitors many ways to experience “Mountain Latitude, Island Attitude” with pampering services including facials, massages, body treatments, manicures, pedicures, spray tanning and a hair salon.

St. Somewhere Spa manager Pam McKay is working with the hotel to create some specialty services and spa packages.

“We are coordinating bridal packages and have already rolled out a great August weekday spa package that incorporates a $100 spa credit for each night of stay,” McKay said. “The package is available Sunday through Thursday throughout August, and you can tailor it to any length of stay.”

The spa is the latest addition to Margaritaville Island Hotel, which opened in October 2014.  The hotel wraps around The Island, providing guests with views of The Island Show Fountains, the 200-foot-tall Great Smoky Mountain Wheel and a wide variety of eateries, bars and retail shops.

The St. Somewhere Spa follows the opening of the hotel’s Changes in Latitude lobby bar and the rooftop pool and Chill Bar. The hotel also completed the Compass Rose Room this spring, which offers a 3,200-square-foot facility for weddings, banquets and meetings for up to 200 attendees in addition to a 2,500-square-foot riverfront terrace.

“We are excited to offer a unique experience to Pigeon Forge visitors,” said hotel general manager Kris Harmon. “Guests find everything they want within steps of the hotel, from dining and entertainment to shopping and now island-inspired relaxation with a world-class spa experience.”

The St. Somewhere Spa is open daily to hotel guests, as well as to visitors and area residents. Spa appointments are available by calling (865) 280-6200, and room reservations, a spa menu and spa package information are available by calling (844) 4-Fins Up or by visiting the hotel website, Margaritavilleislandhotel.com.

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Contact:

Renie Carroll, Director of Marketing (865) 774-2300, rcarroll@margaritaville.com

 

Outdoor Gravity Park on a Roll in Pigeon Forge

 PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (April 9, 2015) – Pigeon Forge’s newest attraction offers two wet and slippery attractions and one dry activity, and it plans to add two more adventures this summer.

It is Outdoor Gravity Park, a new business on the former Zorb site that features the New Zealand iconic OGO adventure and the spinning-in-place Fishpipe.

Fishpipe at Outdoor Gravity Park

Fishpipe at Outdoor Gravity Park

The OGO is a plastic sphere 11 feet in diameter, with a smaller sphere inside. One, two or three passengers make a Superman-like dive into the inner sphere, get doused with water (that’s the slippery part) and then roll down a steep 1,000-foot-long hill. Slip! Slide! Get Wet! No tumbling!

Outdoor Gravity Park has carved five OGO routes down the hill. Two of the routes are straightaways, and three are zigzag routes.

Riders wanting a completely different experience enter a special OGO with harness seating and take a revolving roll down the hill.

The Fishpipe is a totally new attraction – a rotating barrel water slide. The barrel is made of plastic and is suspended in a steel frame.

Passengers can go solo, duo or trio and Slip! Slide! Get Wet! You will cover more distance than any lateral water slide.

An electric motor spins the barrel at up to 45 revolutions per minute. At a moderate speed, riders slide for three-fourths of a mile. At full speed, the ride is equivalent to a mile-long water slide. Slip! Slide! Get Wet! No tumbling!

“Our site is 17 acres, and we have plenty of room to grow. We plan to add two more attractions this summer. Rest assured that both will feature gravity and fun,” says Chris Roberts, an owner and mechanical engineer.

Outdoor Gravity Park is just off the Parkway in Pigeon Forge at Traffic Light #1. For more information, go online at www.OutdoorGravityPark.com and visit us on Facebook.

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Contact:

Sarah Beth Nelius: SarahBeth@outdoorgravitypark.com

Courtney Allred: Courtney@outdoorgravitypark.com

865-366-2687

OGO on a roll

OGO on a roll