PIGEON FORGE (WATE) – This Memorial Day weekend kicked off the unofficial start to summer along with the start to the busy summer season in Sevier County. Thousands of out-of-towners piled into Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville over the weekend, and it is expected to only get busier through the rest of the summer.
“We came down to take a few days to see the sights in the mountains and run back and forth to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge and Sevierville, and just take a few days off to relax,” said Rebecca Berry from Cincinnati.
For many across the country Memorial Day weekend means summer vacation. Throughout the year Sevier County will see millions of visitors, most of those showing up during the warmest months.
“We figured it would be busier Friday and Saturday so we waited until yesterday to come,” said Berry.
She was not wrong.
“The weekend was really busy, and for the last three days we were almost sold out,” said Aman Hotani, general manager at the Days Inn in Pigeon Forge.
Local businesses say they saw a lot of traffic for the Memorial Weekend Holiday, and they expect the weekends to stay that busy through October.
“Make your reservations early. Book your rooms early because as we sell out we tend to raise the prices,” said Hotani.
No matter what brings the tourists, business owners say they look forward to this time of year.
“Try the different wines and the moonshines and we’re going to go to the Dixie Stampede tomorrow night,” said Berry.
The business is good even if it means fighting traffic.
“As a local certainly I don’t travel the Parkway. I always take Dolly Parton or the Veterans Boulevard,” said Hotani.