Pigeon Forge approves liquor referendum

Pigeon Forge approves liquor referendum

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There have been plenty of signs out both for and against the measure. There have been plenty of signs out both for and against the measure.
"I've had so many people get up from my restaurant here in Pigeon Forge and go to a restaurant in Sevier County because they sell liquor and they can have the drink they like," said Jeff Morgan at Smoky Mountain Brewery. "I've had so many people get up from my restaurant here in Pigeon Forge and go to a restaurant in Sevier County because they sell liquor and they can have the drink they like," said Jeff Morgan at Smoky Mountain Brewery.
"I'm 64 years old now and our town, our schools got by great without liquor by the drink," said Ralph Huskey with Gum Stand Baptist Church. "I'm 64 years old now and our town, our schools got by great without liquor by the drink," said Ralph Huskey with Gum Stand Baptist Church.

By MONA NAIR
6 News Reporter

PIGEON FORGE (WATE) - Voters in East Tennessee won't just be weighing in on political races this Election Day. A number of cities in our area will also be voting on liquor referendums.

In the tourist town of Pigeon Forge, the measure won 1232 to 1132.

This is the third time liquor by the drink has been on the ballot in Pigeon Forge.

The city already allowed beer and wine to be sold at restaurants, but hard liquor had been a controversial issue.

Prior to the election, there were plenty of signs out both for and against the measure.

On Tuesday afternoon, workers at Smoky Mountain Brewery hoped that Tuesday's vote would mean the start of a new chapter in their town.

"It brings in more people, more industry, more tourism," said Jeff Morgan with Smoky Mountain Brewery. "We're very, very excited about bringing liquor to the town."

But outside the polls, Ralph Huskey with Gum Stand Baptist Church was making a last minute push, wearing a hat asking people to vote "no" to liquor by the drink and handing out informational cards to voters.

He's worried about family values.

"I growed up here," said Huskey. "I'm 64 years old now and our town, our schools got by great without liquor by the drink."

Both sides were vocal, with signs and publicity on social media.

Nearby Sevierville and Gatlinburg already allow liquor sales, but voters in Pigeon Forge stood their ground - before Tuesday night.

"I've had so many people get up from my restaurant here in Pigeon Forge and go to a restaurant in Sevier County because they sell liquor and they can have the drink they like," said Morgan.

Huskey believes that revenue comes at too large a price.

"Alcohol can lead to so many things - deaths in families, divorce, just everything," he said.

The last two times the issue was on the ballot in Pigeon Forge, the votes were during smaller elections.

Several other cities have charter amendments and other ballot initiatives on liquor. The following towns have liquor by the drink or package store issues on their ballots. Click on the name to view the latest results.

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