PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (WATE) — Motels in Sevier County have been filling up months in advanced, especially for the holiday season.
Right now, at Norma Dan Motel off the Parkway, only a few rooms are available, but not for long.
“Most of our reservations for the Christmas holiday, we’ve been booked, I’m gonna say for two months at least,” said Danette Rolen, owner of Norma Dan Motel.
Rolen is the second generation to own the motel. She took it over in the 90s.
She said the week in between Christmas and New Year’s is always crazy busy, but even more so this year and especially compared to last year.
Rolen said last year, a lot of people were still scared and didn’t know whether to travel, so they would cancel their reservations.
This year, she’s had some visitors cancel due to COVID-19, but not as many as expected with the new COVID-19 variant going around.
Other than that, she’s been booked solid for a few months.
“It’s like working a jigsaw puzzle,” Rolen said. “You’ll have a room here and a room there for maybe one or two days here and there, but it’s been like that the last couple of months.
“So, and if anybody cancels, it’s going to be last minute cause they’ve had these reservations for so long, they’re not going to cancel unless they absolutely have to.”
Rolen said she’s seeing repeat customers as usual, but the length of reservations have changed.
She said people usually stay anywhere from two to four days, but lately they’ve been booking their stays for between four and seven days.
With it being so busy all over town, she recommends people still visit, but plan ahead. Rolen said future visitors need to call at least a month beforehand, even if they’re visit isn’t set in stone. While they’re calling about rooms, they should also call around at the attractions.
“If you’re wanting to go and you’re wanting to get tickets as well as motels, find out if you can get tickets before you start booking motel rooms,” she said. “Cause I’d hate for you to get here and expect to do all this great, fun things with your family and not be able to do it once you get here.”
Rolen said their busy season will end Jan. 2. After that, the motel will be closed for a couple of months for renovations and deep cleaning.