SEVIER COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) – If you’ve ever spent time debating how to spend a day in Pigeon Forge, that decision could be a little more difficult.
The developers of the Tower Shops, on Teaster Lane, opened the Mountain Monster, a three-in-one, thrill ride Friday.
The Mountain Monster is 200 feet tall. It’s three rides include a saddle ride, which launches thrill-seekers into the sky and then spins them around.
There is a front ride, which simulated skydiving, tipping you forward before a massive, terrifying fall. There is also a drop tower alongside the ride, with eight-seats, and without shoulder harnesses, essentially amplifying the freight.
It sits outside a nearly finished, 150,000 square, shopping center.
While one of the four partners in the project, Dixon Greenwood, said he expects to be finished with the first phase of their overall plans next summer, they’ve already secured a few tenants.
According to a news release, so far, REI, Junction, 35 Spirits, Mountain Rifle Coffee Company, Cream & Sugar Sweet Shoppe, Currahee Vineyards, Mountain Mile General Store, and Appalachian Apparel are confirmed.
It indicated more dining and retail are coming soon.
The Tower Shops are just one component of the Mountain Mile project.
In total, Greenwood said, he and his partners own about 150 acres along Teaster Lane and Jake Thomas Road. While we don’t have the details beyond the shops, Greenwood estimated investment to be more than $100 million.
“Pigeon Forge is a great market and there’s been a lot of great new developments here. The Island really raised the bar. The city has done a fantastic job with the convention center and the Cal Ripken Baseball Park are phenomenal facilities. Being right here in the middle of all that, we had to bring our a game and I think we’ve done that,” Greenwood said. “The vision is to create a place in harmony with the island, with the convention center, with Cal Ripken, where people can come, they can park their car one time, they can stay, shop, eat, play and not have to get back in their car.”
Sue Carr, the city’s marketing director, spoke Friday about the work on the shops and what it could mean for the already booming tourism industry in Pigeon Forge.
“When you think back to what this was 25 years ago, this was an outlet mall. To look at it today and what they’ve taken with the revitalization to bring it into 2020, in the future, is really exciting for Pigeon Forge and what’s going to happen and other things happening within the city.”
Carr also believes the Tower Shops offer visitors “something different,” and she hopes it might be the thing to convince them to stay another day.