GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WATE) — Gatlinburg is the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and hosts millions of tourists every year. The city is thriving economically and the cost of living is 13% below the national average, but Gatlinburg also has a problem: hundreds of job vacancies.

While the help wanted signs are out, not enough people seem to want in.

Jodi Coffey is a server at the Cliff Top restaurant at Anakeesta in Gatlinburg. She took the job just a few months ago and has not looked back.

“I love it up here. It’s absolutely beautiful,” said Coffey.

The 52-year-old says working in Gatlinburg has been a great experience and much better than her job as a manager at a big box store.

“They’re not comparable. This is so much different. Even on the craziest of days it’s exciting and not stressful – it’s exciting,” said Coffey.

While Coffey is surrounded by fellow employees, her employer is trying to hire even more people. Websites list dozens of job openings at Anakeesta and there are hundreds of job openings in the Gatlinburg area.

“We do definitely need a lot of those jobs filled here. We have openings all over the place – at our attractions, our restaurants, here at the chamber,” said Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau marketing specialist Marisa Rios.

Rios says a lot of people are trying to attract a lot of new employees with bonuses, incentives, and promises of promotions.

“There’s a lot of upward mobility – opportunities for growth. No matter where you’re working, even entry-level jobs,” said Rios.

In fact, that’s part of the bureau’s message in its new Work and Play campaign. Rios says the new campaign is an effort to get the word out about all the jobs available in Gatlinburg and how great the area is.

“Last year we were ranked number one by Trip Advisor as a trending destination, number five in the world, and Southern Living recognized as the South’s Mountain town. So, there’s a lot of recognition here,” said Rios.

The Chamber’s web page now has a direct link to jobs currently available in the city.

“It really varies all over the place from hospitality to the attractions to the restaurants. There really is something in any type of field here again either part-time and full-time for people,” said Rios

That makes it easy for job seekers. However, something that’s not helping – is the lack of affordable housing. Right now – a lot of people who work here are commuting.

“We have people come in from Knoxville, Sevierville, maybe Seymour. They make that drive in and out every single day,” said Rios.

While finding employees now is important it will be more important down the road. Over the next ten years the ‘job growth rate’ is predicted to be 43% in Gatlinburg, well above the national rate of 33%.