Operators pleased with start of The Island in Pigeon Forge

Operators pleased with start of The Island in Pigeon Forge

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The Island's key feature is a 200-foot observation wheel, which can be seen for miles around. The Island's key feature is a 200-foot observation wheel, which can be seen for miles around.
Only the first phase of The Island has been completed. Only the first phase of The Island has been completed.
"We've still got a lot of real estate left to develop on The Island," said Director of Operations Tom Horne. "We've still got a lot of real estate left to develop on The Island," said Director of Operations Tom Horne.

By JOSH AULT
6 News Reporter

PIGEON FORGE (WATE) - The Island in Pigeon Forge, a new shopping and entertainment development, has been open for just over a month now.

It grew out of the long-delayed Belle Island Village project, which stumbled along with the economy just before it was set to open.

The Island is located in the center of Pigeon Forge, right off the Parkway.

Its key feature is a 200-foot observation wheel, which can be seen for miles around.

"It was fun," said The Island visitor Tony Pate. "The wheel was nice and cool. You seen a lot of the scenery around you. It was nice."

The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel is not the only attraction at The Island. There is also shopping and food.

The Island operators say they will not release attendance numbers, but say they are exactly where they want to be.

"It's been going fantastic," said Director of Operations Tom Horne. "Guest traffic has been great. Everything is up and going."

Only the first phase of The Island has been completed. There is still a lot more to be built, including The Island Fountains, which will be similar to fountains located in Las Vegas.

"It will be quite spectacular," said Horne. "It will actually go off every 30 minutes for a five minute show."

The fountains are scheduled to be complete in December.

Other attractions coming to The Island include Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery and Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville.

Those will be opening in 2014.

There will also be a four star hotel built on the property as well.

"I enjoy it," said visitor Donna Sellers. "We enjoy the sky ride. We enjoy the food. The music at night."

Operators of The Island say the wheel has now become the most photographed attraction in Pigeon Forge.

"We've still got a lot of real estate left to develop on The Island," said Horne. "It's a focal point here in town."

The Island officials say once everything has been built on the property it will have created more than 2,000 new jobs for Sevier County.

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