PIGEON FORGE (WATE) - The hotel that's been called "America's Dirtiest" is getting a facelift.
The Grand Resort Hotel in Pigeon Forge got that unflattering title from TripAdivsor.com in 2011. It closed suddenly in November, 2012.
The hotel was purchased by a Texas-based company in February and now work has begun to bring it back to life.
Before 8:00 Thursday morning workers lined up outside the former Grand Resort Hotel to learn what they would be doing for the day.
For the past three weeks, the well-known hotel has been gutted by workers.
"This is a very large project," said project coordinator Wesley Shephard. "It's an almost 500-room hotel. We are having to go through every room and scrape every nail hole, get everything cleaned out."
Shephard works for Guzman Subcontractors of Morristown. The firm won a bid to clean out most of the building.
Shephard says demolition should be finished by March 28. He says soon after that bids will be taken for the renovation of the entire hotel.
Along with gutting out the main hotel, the convention center next door will be torn down in the next few days. Shephard says the new owners plan to build a strip mall there.
This project has already started to create more jobs for local workers.
"We got about 50 to 60 people now," said Shephard. "A lot are from Pigeon Forge and Morristown area."
Shephard says the tentative name of the new hotel is going to be the Pigeon Forge Hotel.
He says the new owners hope to open by the end of the year.
The hotel is one of the largest hotels in Pigeon Forge.
It was built in 1981 in preparation of the Knoxville World's Fair.