The Island at Pigeon Forge prepares for opening day

The Island at Pigeon Forge prepares for opening day

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By SAMANTHA MANNING
6 News Reporter

PIGEON FORGE (WATE) - The Island at Pigeon Forge is nearing its opening day on June 21 and 6 News was given the chance to take a sneak peek inside.

"This will be one more reason people should be coming to Sevier County and enjoy all that it has to offer," partner for LaConte Village LLC, Darby Campbell, said.

Construction workers were working on the finishing touches Friday in preparation for the debut.

Campbell said the multi-use entertainment site is expected to bring in around 2,500 jobs altogether, with 1,300 of them coming directly from The Island at Pigeon Forge.

The 22-acre site includes new restaurants and a 200-foot tall Ferris wheel called "The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel," which is one of the three largest ones in the country.

Campbell said so far, the cost of the project stands around $100 million with another $20 million expected to be invested.

"There was a lot of work to be done," Director of Operations Tom Horne said. "People have really poured their heart and soul into this project working countless hours."

Some Sevier County residents said the biggest benefit of the new site is that it's bringing new jobs.

"We need jobs everywhere," Sevierville resident Wilma Manning said. "Since the economy went down, it's been very difficult especially with us being a tourist town."

The second phase of The Island at Pigeon Forge will include construction, which will begin in the fall, and it's expected to be complete by next spring.

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