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Dollywood Discussion Thread

p. 734 - Lightning Rod closed for remainder of 2020 season

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Pete Owens did just confirm on air that the park is fine. They do believe about a dozen or so cabins have either been a total loss or damaged. That was the update that I saw on the news just now.

 

Also staying at the park will be closed tomorrow. And further assessment about this week and will be decided upon talking to the city.

 

 

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You mean like this. . . (pssst, all wooden coasters run on steel rails, well, with the exception of the flying turns)   Also, who would have thought the first RMC coaster to get the RM

Their season pass renewal system is running on the same server as Lightning Rod. 

Shenanigans! Dollywood is a theme park. Do you realize how many people go to Dollywood for the shows? Or the Eagle habitat? Or the soot train? Or just to take it all in? Or the freaking cinnamon

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Any tpr member in or around the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area, stay safe.

 

 

So sad to see this happen to two of the most popular and most beautiful tourist towns in the country.

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from SMAP's facebook page: Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster did not have any fires on our property but will be closed this morning to assess the track from the high winds last night. We will post any new updates on our opening time. Please keep Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge in your thoughts and prayers from the devastating wild fires in the area.

 

Goats on the Roof have also reported in...

65217248_ScreenShot2016-11-29at11_41_04.png.847fb3b1da44d71c94d87a9f0417b52f.png

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The local authorities just held a press conference and I took some notes from Q&A. Cassius Cash, the superintendent of the GSMNP said that the structures at Elkmont and LeConte Lodge were reported to be okay.

 

The Gatlinburg fire chief, Greg Miller, was asked about the circumstances last night. He said once winds reached hurricane strength >87mph at points, around 6pm, then the embers from fires could be carried up to a mile away, creating more fires, downing trees and power lines in the process, compounding all the other issues they were dealing with. He added the “worst is behind us” now. More, heavier rain is anticipated this evening and overnight.

 

Mayor of Gatlinburg said he believed he lost his house in the fire.

 

Lots of damage assessment is continuing.

 

Some important places they mentioned:

 

• Elkmont – ok

• LeConte Lodge – ok, but the trails leading up may be damaged.

• Ripley’s Aquarium – ok, 11,000 animals are said to be ok. 2pm, they are reiterating that every animal is ok. Lots of concern for Ripley's and Dollywood.

• Dollywood & DreamMore resort– ok - WWBIR latest info from 12p newscast 11.29.16

• 12 patients treated at area hospitals, 3 firefighters sent to Vanderbilt burn center in Nashville.

• Ober - ok

• Central downtown Gatlinburg is said to be okay. Fire damage limited to the perimeters of the city.

* - a majority of the Westgate resort has been destroyed. It is in between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.

* TEMA reports that thousands were evacuated and no deaths reported.

* Cristus Gardens, Hillbilly Golf and Mysterious Mansion are gone. Although, new reports are not clear about Mysterious Mansion - tbd.

* Lots of cabins and homes destroyed...pets left behind, propane tanks exploding, PEOPLE ARE MISSING - out of touch with relatives...lots of sad stories coming to light.

* WBIR List of damaged structures

* The Gatlinburg skylift has been "impacted" - not sure how significantly, but IIRC it passes over Cristus Gardens.

Edited by coasterfreaky
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I'm glad to hear that the aquarium and the sea life inside are safe and sound, hopefully the marine life team will be staying onsite to take care of them as long as the team isn't in jeopardy. It really sucks to hear about the Mysterious Mansion, they confirmed on their FB page that it was lost but they haven't said if they will rebuild or not just thanked people for all the visits over the years, hopefully they will decide to rebuild.

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This is horrible - wildfires combined with hurricane force winds?!? Wow.

 

Although I am concerned for the safety of everyone in the Gatlinburg / Pigeon Forge area, to our Tennessee TPR members, please be safe and know that I'm thinking of you.

 

David

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Based off of the stories that are coming out now, it sounds as if the rain and less severe conditions has allowed them to gain the upper hand on these fires. It sounds like aside from a few cabins, Dollywood has been spared and they don't seem too concerned about Dollywood going forward (and the fact that Dream More resort will be open tonight is a great sign). Officials in Gatlinburg are saying that "the worst is over".

 

This was an awful event, but luckily for now it seems that things are looking up. Dollywood is okay, downtown Gatlinburg is mostly okay (though some landmarks on the outskirts have been lost), sure these aren't really the most important things at stake here but selfishly this is good news for tourists and for the local economy. I feel awful for the families of the 3 people that were killed and for the people who lost their homes and property but as bad as this was it could have been a lot worse.

 

I don't mean to make it out like Dollywood and the Gatlinburg tourists traps are the most important things to worry about (though this is a theme park website), I know a lot of people just had their lives turned upside-down and I don't want to minimize that, but luckily I don't think they expect it to get any worse at this point and that's great news. Still, I feel awful for the people who were impacted.

Edited by coasterbill
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I wasn't familiar with Mysterious Mansion so I googled it to see what it was. Where hours would normally be listed it says permanently closed. I hope that the owners can find a way to recover from what I'm sure is a devastating loss. Prayers to everyone affected in that area.

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I just listened to the 4pm news conference with local and state leaders, here’s what I heard…

• Three lives have been lost. No details given.

• Injured number has risen from 12 to 14.

• Search and Rescue continues in areas previously inaccessible. Trees, power lines, power poles are blocking many roadways. They are going house by house to check on everyone.

• Multiple structural fires are a top priority.

• Many Gatlinburg neighborhoods are blocked.

• Tonight’s forecast is a mixed bag. High Winds are predicted as well as significant rainfall. It’s not yet clear if the wind will arrive before the rain. High wind before rain would likely re-start many fires. Hoping for rain before big winds. Next 24 hours are critical.

• Governor Haslam said that this is the largest fire situation in the state’s history.

• Three Blackhawk helicopters are in the area; two are dropping buckets of water and the third is assessing damage from the air.

• 14k evacuated, 2k in local shelters.

• Local curfew: 6p to 6a

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Alright, this struck me as odd last night but I don't know the area that well so I didn't question it but I am now. The reason people are saying that Mysterious Mansion is destroyed seems to be because of this widely circulated image. They confirmed it on their Facebook page because they were told it was destroyed, not because they were there to witness it.

 

Cyc3CGdXcAAaywb.jpg:large

 

This shows a building right up against a road totally destroyed by flames. Here's the thing though, this is what Mysterious Mansion looks like... not up against a road, there's a creek between the road and the attraction and a google map view shows us that the attraction is nowhere near any other roads besides River Road

 

 

So how the hell is that Mysterious Mansion? Am I looking at it wrong? Because that image started this entire rumor and I'm confused by how that happened.

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^It's possible its safe! It just goes to show how much confusion there is at this time. Im not sure Gatlinburg has "re-opened" per se, for business owners and others to see what damage has occurred. The priority right now is to go house to house in the areas outside of Gatlinburg to help others who may need assistance, so we may not know for sure for a day or two, or more depending on the weather this evening and overnight. I'm holding out hope!

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^It's possible its safe!

 

Yeah It could go either way, I haven't seen a picture or video of Mysterious Mansion destroyed by the fire (unless I'm totally not looking at that picture properly), but I haven't seen anything from a reliable source saying that it still stands either. It's a mess right now. People are in a mad rush to release information as quickly as possible and this doesn't allow them much time to actually confirm that anything they're reporting is true.

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Found a nice review of the weather conditions that led to the fire and its rapid movement last night, if anyone's interested.

 

The weather forecast for the next day or so is complicated. Winds are not overly strong right now (gusts of 25-35 MPH at higher elevations near Gatlinburg) but this will increase overnight, and winds will be at their strongest between 4AM and 1PM (gusts of 40-60 MPH at higher elevations, 20-40 MPH in the valley). Conditions are dry right now, and outside of maybe a light shower or two, will remain so for several hours. Chances of rain will increase after 10PM, with the potential for some heavy rain and thunderstorms overnight and tomorrow morning. Rain is good, but too much heavy rain on freshly-burned slopes can lead to flash flooding, and lightning isn't good news for anybody in these kinds of situations.

 

I'm glad not all of the earlier reports of damage ended up verifying to their initial severity. At this point it seems like waiting for a primary source is crucial, as there's simply too much speculation to keep track of.

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Alright, this struck me as odd last night but I don't know the area that well so I didn't question it but I am now. The reason people are saying that Mysterious Mansion is destroyed seems to be because of this widely circulated image. They confirmed it on their Facebook page because they were told it was destroyed, not because they were there to witness it.

 

Cyc3CGdXcAAaywb.jpg:large

 

This shows a building right up against a road totally destroyed by flames. Here's the thing though, this is what Mysterious Mansion looks like... not up against a road, there's a creek between the road and the attraction and a google map view shows us that the attraction is nowhere near any other roads besides River Road

 

 

So how the hell is that Mysterious Mansion? Am I looking at it wrong? Because that image started this entire rumor and I'm confused by how that happened.

 

That is not the Mysterious Mansion. Plenty of photos being posted that are not even from the area and from other wildfires around the country. I believe that is a hotel off of US 321.

15267842_10211387598432174_6930189817922585670_n.jpg.85e91328a0c550dd8cb9b8dbf5956bbb.jpg

This photo is looking directly towards Mysterious Mansion. The building closest is the Gatlinburg Ski Lift and Mysterious Mansion is roughly behind the sign on the road to the right of the ski lift building. A lot of damage along River Road on the other side of creek, but it is possible the fire jumped over the Mysterious Mansion building.

Edited by ernierocker
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A glimpse of hope for the Mysterious Mansion is that Edgewater Resort isn't publicly confirming any damage right now.. that is the hotel butt up against the Mansion..

 

But with the owners saying it is "confirmed" I'd imagine someone from the inside possibly contacted them? Who knows! I'd find it hard to believe the mansion has burned but the hotel is undamaged..

 

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