New Gatlinburg development will not hurt future of historic school next door

GATLINBURG (WATE) – A century old school in Gatlinburg is reassuring people they are not going anywhere after a large new development announced plans to build right next to it. Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts has been in Gatlinburg for more than 100 years.

“We have, percentage wise, one of the largest arts and crafts economies in the nation which is amazing,” said Fran Day, Director of Development at Arrowmont.

An integral part of the mountain community, Arrowmont has been hearing concerns about its future after a new development was announced next door. Anakeesta Village will bring a hotel and retail space on the Parkway and trekking courses, zip lines, and canopy walks up the mountain.

Previous story: Large new development in the works in Gatlinburg

Arrowmont is telling people to rest assured their future in Gatlinburg is safe.

“It makes us feel good, but it also says how important the arts are to this community,” said Day.

On the contrary, the school sees it as a chance for them to also grow.

“We have very limited space, and I could see where we could appeal to a lot more people if they felt like they could come and even stay right next door,” said Day.

They hope to serve artists in Gatlinburg for a long time to come, so they are actively working with Anakeesta developers to keep the old alongside the new.

“We hope to see this obviously continue, and we’re going to be working to make sure that it continues,” said Day.

Work is already beginning to clear the site for Anakeesta Village. The development should be completed in 2017.

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