Category Archives: Local News

The Resort at Governor’s Crossing Named a 2014 Best In Stay Hotel by Orbitz Customers

Sevierville,TNThe Resort at Governor’s Crossing is the winner of a 2014 Orbitz Best in Stay Award for being a top-rated hotel in Sevierville. The 2014 Orbitz Best In Stay Awards honor nearly 400 top-rated hotels in 75 popular destinations based on reviews by Orbitz customers. In addition to the destination winners, Best in Stay winners were also selected in six categories: Value, Luxury, Family, LGBT, Ski and All-Inclusive.

Orbitz Best in Stay 2014

Orbitz Best in Stay 2014

Orbitz Best In Stay Award winners are selected based on the overall numeric score of verified hotel reviews submitted by Orbitz customers that have booked and stayed at hotels over the past year. Customers are asked to rate a variety of hotel attributes on a scale of 1 to 5, including amenities, maintenance, hotel staff, room comfort, location, and value. Those ratings are supplemented by input from nearly 150 Orbitz hotel experts who factor in other market conditions, such as the number of reviews, frequency of booking and reputation of hotel staff.

“With customers booking hotels on and our other sites in record numbers, we expanded the Best In Stay Awards to recognize even more best-in-class hotels as rated by customers,” said Peggy Bianco, group vice president of global hotel supplier services for “In the age of mobile and social media, customers use our nearly 2 million hotel reviews to make real-time decisions about their trips based on advice from other customers. Orbitz is proud to honor these highly rated Best In Stay properties that provide exemplary service and make our customers’ hotel stays memorable.”

Human Interaction Harms one of Tennessee’s Free Attractions

One of East Tennessee’s and here in the Smokies great attractions is the chance to see a black bear in the wild. People come from near and far with the hope of seeing one of these bears and other wildlife as this area holds the greatest bear population in the entire state.

Mother & Cub

Mother & Cub

On top of that viewing them in the wild is free as The Great Smoky Mountain National Park has no admission fees. That’s right; you can drive through Cades Cove, the Roaring Fork, all over the park and only have to pay for your fuel. Sadly foolish, uneducated, and uncaring tourists are ruining the chance for you and your family to observe these bears.

A recent report by Knoxville WBIR TV News brought to light that poor behavior by certain tourists is harming these bears leading to their removal or even causing the need for certain bears to be killed. They reported how tourists fed a female black bear and her three cubs in Cades Cove causing them to become “Nuisance Bears”. This forced the park service to capture and relocate the mother bear and her cubs 40 miles from the area. The article goes on to tell of a bear having to be euthanized in 2010 because of it approaching hikers in the Laurel Falls area wanting food.

Full WBIR News Article

The WBIR article also reported on the story in Country Magazine where the lady bragged about approaching an angry mother bear and her cubs in Cades Cove to get that “photographic treasure”. Thankfully enough public backlash caused the magazine to retract the story.

Cub in tree eating berries

Cub in tree eating berries

The law states you must stay back 50 yards and may not disturb or displace these animals. Visitors can be arrested and fined for violating this law. Bring a zoom lens and stay back. Don’t feed the bears! Keep your distance, stay safe and keep them safe.

Black Bear Safety Tips

Former President to Speak at Sevierville Conference

Former President George W. Bush is scheduled to speak at the Sevierville Events Center at the Celebrator’s Conference. He will be the Wednesday evening guest speaker at the sold out conference.
The Celebrator’s Conference, an outreach of Phil Waldrep Ministries, is one of the leading Christian conferences for older adults and mature believers. Held this Monday through Thursday, this year’s annual conference is moving from Gatlinburg to the new Sevierville facility.

Former Christus Gardens to Become Christ in the Smokies Museum and Gardens

The former Christus Gardens in Gatlinburg, which was closed in 2008 after 49 years of being one of the areas most popular attractions, will reopen this fall as the Christ in the Smokies Museum and Gardens. Developers have been acquiring Christian items from around the country for exhibit. Many local artists are also involved in this new attraction.
Located at the original Christus Gardens location on River Road, plans call for a “soft” opening this fall with the grand opening in the spring of 2010.

Local Dog One of ‘World’s Ugliest Dogs’

Miss Ellie, one of the stars of the Comedy Barn Canines, recently finished first in her pedigree class division in the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest in Northern California. The 15-year old Chinese Crested Hairless, owned by Dawn Goehring a local trainer and performer at the Comedy Barn, was filmed last week for a segment of the Animal Planet’s “Dogs 101”.
Comedy Barn owners David Fee and Jim Hedrick graciously donated $5000 to the local Sevier County Humane Society to honor Miss Ellie.
The Comedy Barn Theater located in Pigeon Forge features entertainment for the whole family. Click here for their show schedule.

Chance to Win Free Tickets

To help celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, the city of Pigeon Forge is having an online promotion. Register for a chance to win their Prize Pack that includes a $75 fuel card, $75 attraction pass ( 2 tickets to Wonder Works and 2 tickets to Country Tonite Theatre), two tickets to Dollywood, and Sha-Kon-O-Hey the 8 song CD written and recorded by Dolly Parton as tribute to the National Park.
To register or for more information click here. Contest ends July 31, 2009.

Special Concert at Smokies Stadium

The Mountain Press reported today that Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and  John Mellencamp will perform on stage at Tennessee Smokies Stadium in Sevierville on July 29th. Tickets go on sale May 16 at the stadium or online at Showtime will be at 5:30PM, gates open at 5.

For more information about the tour visit

Spring Grand Rod Run

This weekend the Spring Grand Rod Run is being held in Pigeon Forge with both hot rods, vintage cars, and trucks already lining the downtown streets and also cruising the parkway. I spent the morning with my wife downtown checking out some of the cars and have added a few pictures of some of my favorites.



With gas prices being way down from last year and the weather forecast looking good for this weekend it looks like we may have a very busy weekend. We have a few rooms left at The Resort, but they are filing up fast. Many people are finding Governors Crossing a great location as they can spend some time checking out the cars and still have easy access to Dollywood and the outlet malls for those ladies not into car shows.