SEP 2017

ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.

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Page 53 of 67

⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 7 w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 54 T E N N E S S E E main entrances to Great Smoky Mountains National Park and is especially convenient to the popular Cades Cove area. At the end of 2016, Maryville achieved Main Street accreditation from the state of Tennessee, which will add to the city's ongoing downtown redevelopment efforts. "Downtown is often buzzing with activity and entertainment," said Kim Mitchell, director of tourism, Blount Partnership. "Friday Night Lights, held the last Friday of every month from April through October, has something for everyone, with family-friendly activities, music, food trucks and games. Local busi- nesses host mini-events and several restau- rants feature live music most nights of the week." Meeting and event facilities in the area include a variety of venues. In Maryville, Maryville College offers classrooms and other spaces, including the Clayton Center for the Arts with three theaters, art galleries and an outdoor plaza. The Palace Theater has seating for up to 212 people and Pleasant Hill Vineyards can host up to 300 for a reception. In Walland, Blackberry Farm is a 4,200-acre retreat and resort with three meeting venues for up to 116 guests. Facilities in Townsend include the Tremont Lodge and Resort, with 132 guest rooms and cabins, and event space for up to 900; and Country Manor Inn and Guest Suites, with reception space for up to 200 people. In Alcoa, the Hilton Knoxville Airport has 17 meeting rooms with a meeting capacity of 600. It is connected to the airport by covered walkway. (For more information, see Breakout Spot- light on page 56.) Knoxville Big news for Knoxville is the recent open- ing of a new luxury hotel, the reopening of a historic hotel, and the planned opening of a dual-branded hotel for 2018, according to Sarah Rowan, senior director of sales for Visit Knoxville. "Hyatt Place Knoxville will open in Novem- ber this year in the heart of downtown in the historic Farragut Hotel, with 165 guest rooms and 3,848 square feet of event space, includ- ing a rooftop venue. The dual-branded Res- idence Inn/Courtyard by Marriott will open in 2018 in downtown with 232 total rooms, The Smoky Moun- tains may be known for spectacular fall color but "Pigeon Forge delivers on its promise of something new each season," said Joy McNealy, senior sales manager for Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism, adding that new attractions open regularly in the city. "When event attendees are on break, if they want to relax, hike, see a show, ride a roller coaster or enjoy great food, they'll find it in Pigeon Forge. Many attractions also are perfect for team-building activities." Joining popular attractions such as Dol- lywood theme park, the Titanic Museum, Alcatraz East Crime Museum, and numerous music and comedy shows, new attractions include Dolly Parton's Smoky Mountain Adventures Dinner & Show, which features music, dancing and high-flying acrobats; VR Pigeon Forge, a revolutionary virtual-reality arcade that allows visitors to walk, crawl and dodge their way through endless worlds of fun and adventure; and Crave Golf Club, with 36 indoor, outdoor and rooftop mini- golf courses. Pigeon Forge Snow, set to open in fall 2017, is an indoor facility that will provide visitors with year-around fun in the snow, with 15 lanes for snow tubing. n B R E A K O U T S P O T L I G H T : Pigeon Forge Contact: Pigeon Forge CVB Downtown Pigeon Forge Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center in Townsend

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