SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) – Tourism is the pinnacle of the economy in Sevier County, especially in autumn when so many activities are happening.
It’s also an escape as people leave their states to come to Tennessee for vacation.
Cars filled parking lots at the Tanger Outlets in Sevierville early Friday evening.
Where do people go on fall break?! Sevier County! Amusement parks, shopping and dining galore for this high-traffic tourist destination. The Tanger Outlets are packed! @SeviervilleTN @wvlt pic.twitter.com/GumddRBoZJ
— Ashley Bohle (@AshleyWVLT) October 9, 2020
“We’re down here visiting and just having a good time-enjoying the shows and shopping,” said Vickie Sampson from West Virginia.
It’s that time of the year when Seiver County turned into severely crowded.
“Tourism is what fuels our economy here in Sevierville,” said Amanda Marr, Communications Director, Sevierville Chamber of Commerce.
Cabins, hotels and resorts were all booked.
Amanda Marr said, “We’re always pretty popular in the month of October, but we’re really seeing a lot of travel pick up for this weekend, especially and as we move into the rest of the month as well.”
Columbus Day marks fall break for many students.
“It seems like, you know, we’ve been cooped up forever and I was just ready to get out and have some fun,” said Sampson.
The mountains called her and her husband since they typically visit the Smokies, like about 12 million others, every year. But this was her first trip since the pandemic.
“We really look forward to getting into the mountains and doing some hiking,” said Steve DeVillez of Kentucky.
Even though masks were required inside and where social distancing isn’t possibly ouside, DeVillez and his family wanted to enjoy a fall break getaway.
“Still got to get out and live a little bit,” explained DeVillez, “You can’t let it rule our lives, just got to be respectful.”
Tourists were mindful of others and felt called to nature.
“It’s like our home away from home,” said Sampson.
The Sevierville Chamber of Commerce will know how much money businesses earned compared to previous years once fall is over.
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