Sevierville neighbors not happy about jet boats coming to the French Broad River

SEVIERVILLE (WATE) – Wilderness at the Smokies just received a permit to build a 400 square feet dock along the French Broad River. It will be right next to the Highway 66 Bridge in Sevier County and will bring a jet boat attraction to the area.

Not everyone is excited about it. Jerry Grubb lives on the French Broad River in Sevierville and isn’t thrilled about the possibility of new visitors coming around.

“I guess it’s somewhere between angry and upset,” he said. “There’s a lot of concern.”.

This permit will allow the resort to bring a jet boat attraction.


“Basically what wilderness is going to do is put a Dollywood roller coaster ride right here on this river,” said Grubb.

The city voted down a jet boat ordinance last year. Josh Bahe with Wilderness Resorts says the ordinance would’ve helped speed the process, but getting a permit from TVA was always part of the plan.

“No we’re not trying to go around the system by any means. We were hoping to have the dock permit in this location. That was the original thought from the get go,” said Bahe.

Neighbors have even put up signs says that the Wilderness Resorts aren’t wanted there.


“It’s going to affect everything, from every bird, fish, person, you name it,” said Grubb.

Bahe knows about backlash from community members. He promises Wilderness Resorts will listen to concerns and work out any issues with neighbors.

“We want people to know that they can come to us and at least talk to us”

Wilderness at the Smokies says they don’t have a date on when that dock will be built. At this point, they only plan on having one boat on the river which will hold 11 guests.

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