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p. 766 - HeartSong resort announced!

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Not necessarily, folks here sometime stumble upon little known interviews that have answers to questions like this all the time

 

People asking questions like this has linked me to some good interviews before, some I wouldn't see otherwise

 

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Edited by dstephe9
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But see that's what's weird, he National Park Service keeps saying that attendance is at a record high.. Not sure if they say this to get folks to come in and it's not actually true or if people are coming just to rubberneck and see the fire but aren't actually staying in the area haha

 

But yeah, the news sure doesn't help things and that was actually one of the questions on the survey.. What had you seen on the news.

 

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^ The National Park Service has, in my past experience with them, been "off" with their numbers, most of the time, no matter what they're counting. One of the first Marches on Washington with LGTBQ was well above a 1/2 million. My David took photos from the top of the Monument, and we grid-counted everybody "from above," lol. But the Park Service "estimated" it at around..... 50,000.

 

 

Never trusted their numbers, since. IMhO.

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But see that's what's weird, he National Park Service keeps saying that attendance is at a record high.. Not sure if they say this to get folks to come in and it's not actually true or if people are coming just to rubberneck and see the fire but aren't actually staying in the area haha

 

But yeah, the news sure doesn't help things and that was actually one of the questions on the survey.. What had you seen on the news.

 

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The national Park Service doesn't want to lose funding or staffing and need to keep numbers high.

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News stories like this from yesterday on CNN aren’t helping things. Anyone that’s been here this years know the whole town is not gone. More fake news. http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/06/us/gatlinburg-fire-dashcam-video/index.html

Where exactly in that story do they claim that the whole town is gone?

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News stories like this from yesterday on CNN aren’t helping things. Anyone that’s been here this years know the whole town is not gone. More fake news. http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/06/us/gatlinburg-fire-dashcam-video/index.html

Where exactly in that story do they claim that the whole town is gone?

 

Nowhere, it's an interesting story featuring first hand accounts of the events that unfolded. As the story concludes, they quote Pete Owens saying that the idea that the tourism industry was affected by this is a misconception:

 

"The entire area is still affected by the misconception after the fires that the tourism industry was adversely impacted,"

 

Any parts of the story that painted a bleaker picture were clearly first hand accounts as the events unfolded and if you actually read the article in context and not just the headline that much becomes clear. None of the 3 major news networks in America (Fox, MSNBC and CNN) are "fake news", they're editorialized, sometimes biased news sources but people should be smart enough to actually read the articles and check the sources to gain some context before dubbing any article they don't like as "fake".

 

The poster is clearly just trying to subtly bring politics into a theme park forum. Nobody who actually read that article would have a problem with it. It's an interesting read. Sadly, nobody wants to read articles... they just want to react angrily to any headline or news source with an alternate viewpoint because it's easy.

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News stories like this from yesterday on CNN aren’t helping things. Anyone that’s been here this years know the whole town is not gone. More fake news. http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/06/us/gatlinburg-fire-dashcam-video/index.html

Where exactly in that story do they claim that the whole town is gone?

 

Nowhere, it's an interesting story featuring first hand accounts of the events that unfolded. As the story concludes, they quote Pete Owens saying that the idea that the tourism industry was affected by this is a misconception:

 

"The entire area is still affected by the misconception after the fires that the tourism industry was adversely impacted,"

 

Any parts of the story that painted a bleaker picture were clearly first hand accounts as the events unfolded and if you actually read the article in context and not just the headline that much becomes clear. None of the 3 major news networks in America (Fox, MSNBC and CNN) are "fake news", they're editorialized, sometimes biased news sources but people should be smart enough to actually read the articles and check the sources to gain some context before dubbing any article they don't like as "fake".

 

The poster is clearly just trying to subtly bring politics into a theme park forum. Nobody who actually read that article would have a problem with it. It's an interesting read. Sadly, nobody wants to read articles... they just want to react angrily to any headline or news source with an alternate viewpoint because it's easy.

Pete in the article says the tourism industry hasn't been affected, but that goes completely against the survey Dollywood sent out.. Now the survey didn't come out and say attendance was down, nowhere did it say that.. but it did ask about the fire, the news, has that affected you traveling to the area, what can Dollywood do to get you to come back to the area, how many times you visited the area last year vs this year, and even the question of "If LR was guaranteed to be open, would you be more likely to visit Dollywood"

 

Questions like that are fairly clear that tourism is affected or has been affected by something. Was it the fire? Is it Dollywoods prices? (Several questions had to do with prices and discounts). Is it LRs uncertainty? It's like Dollywood is trying to figure out what's wrong..

 

I like Pete, but that's been the problem with Pete over the last year or so.. he says one thing but then folks above him say something else in interviews, or Dollywood ends up doing something else that makes his comments look fake and untrue.

 

And then again, maybe the Survey doesn't mean anything but if that's the case, why send it out? It was one of the longest surveys I have ever done for Dollywood and it seemed to be customized due to the answer I had chosen.

 

The very first question though was a fill in the blank and asked about what I had heard in the news and the second question was if I was aware of the fire

 

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The story has the first hand account that the whole town is on fire. Some folks from around the country hear that and think it worse than it actually is. The whole fake news line was just a joke. Sorry for any confusion.

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I'm currently at the park after spending most of the day here. Unfortunately Lightning Rod seemed to be having some hiccups today. I've watched two launch failures from the queue (both occurred within 30 minutes of each other). Riders were evacuated each time and the coaster went down during each. The same exact thing kept reoccurring nearly everytime the coaster reopened. Luckily I was able to score one ride in this morning after the park opened.

 

I do have to mention that the crest of the hill feels a tiny bit slower than before but the launch and the rest of the ride are still insane. Still lots of great airtime and nothing feels any different in those parts.

 

Overall a great day at the park, and was able to ride every coaster in just under 90 minutes this morning. I also tried Whistle Punk Chaser for the first time and it was a little jolty but still a good addition for younger ones.

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Is it out of line to think that Lightning Rod's down time is partially to blame for at least a portion of what appears to be an attendance decline? This ride was held up so high as the best new coaster for 2016. Think of how many out of towners may have been let down.

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Is it out of line to think that Lightning Rod's down time is partially to blame for at least a portion of what appears to be an attendance decline? This ride was held up so high as the best new coaster for 2016. Think of how many out of towners may have been let down.
Like I said yesterday, that was one of the questions in the tourism survey they sent me.. it was in a set of questions about how likely these events would make you visit the park and the question for LR was "guarantee that LR would be running"

 

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I am driving down from northern Ohio tomorrow for my first ever visit. Was seriously considering canceling the trip and heading over to Hershey Park instead because LR has been down all day. I get there are lots of neat stuff for first time visitors besides this coaster, but for me it's the deciding factor or sure. Hope it stays up.

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Another article about low tourism

 

http://www.knoxnews.com/story/news/local/tennessee/gatlinburg/2017/07/09/two-gatlinburg-tourism-leaders-lose-jobs-post-wildfire-visitor-dollars-decline/458945001/

 

I don't see how Pete can say the tourism market was unaffected

 

Now with that being said, the last reported numbers according to the article was in April..

 

Also, I guess the National Park service just pulls numbers out of it's butt or folks srr just driving through and not spending money

 

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We definitely cancelled plans for our first trip there this year because of LR not being reliable enough to count on being open when we went. It's not a trip we could repeat easily so I want to make sure it's the best we can get when we go.

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We definitely cancelled plans for our first trip there this year because of LR not being reliable enough to count on being open when we went. It's not a trip we could repeat easily so I want to make sure it's the best we can get when we go.

 

We did the same. . . That being said it is rescheduled for the end of this month!

 

(Still not overly confident that LR will be open. But I sure feel like we have a better chance this year than we would have had last year.)

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Is it out of line to think that Lightning Rod's down time is partially to blame for at least a portion of what appears to be an attendance decline? This ride was held up so high as the best new coaster for 2016. Think of how many out of towners may have been let down.

Our 5 out of towners were let down by it. Dollywood is still fun, and we went into it expecting LR not to run so as not to be disappointed, but to be honest, Lightning Rod definitely was a big reason for booking the trip.

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We definitely cancelled plans for our first trip there this year because of LR not being reliable enough to count on being open when we went. It's not a trip we could repeat easily so I want to make sure it's the best we can get when we go.

 

We did the same. . . That being said it is rescheduled for the end of this month!

 

(Still not overly confident that LR will be open. But I sure feel like we have a better chance this year than we would have had last year.)

 

We visited DW for the first time June 26-30 and had pretty good luck with LR. It opened with the park or soon thereafter every day and had minimal downtime. When it did go down, it wasn't down for long (only about 30 min or so). They were only running one train, but I'd rather have consistent ops with one train than lots of downtime with two. It really is a fantastic coaster and I was able to get in about 20 rides during our visit, so hopefully you'll have the same luck on your visit.

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Just wanted to jump in to share some insights into the truth about visitor levels being down.

 

Yes, numbers are down. If they weren't, Dollywood's parking lot wouldn't have been this empty in the middle of June...at NOON.

 

If they weren't, Splash Country's lines wouldn't be this short on a Saturday....on 4th of July Weekend.

 

If they weren't, there'd be NO WAY Dollywood would be selling adult tickets at kid's prices in the middle of summer...and then EXTENDING the sale.

 

If they weren't, there'd be NO WAY they'd be discounting Splash Country tickets during the ONLY season they are open.

 

The truth is, Dollywood is down. The entire area is down.

 

The issue since the fires has a lot to do with headline writers and readers. Too many sensationalized headlines referring to Gatlinburg "destroyed" were then followed by Gatlinburg "rebuilding"...even from the city leaders! Those headlines were written with the intention of generating clicks....but unfortunately, most people don't click and read. They see the headline in their social feeds, and they keep scrolling...only to be left with the assumption that Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge/Smokies were destroyed and are now rebuilding.

 

We know this because we STILL get calls from people asking if the towns are open.

 

So look at it this way...it's a nice time to visit Dollywood and enjoy shorter lines.

19224923_10213289105133338_46930333615077415_n.jpg.d08a13c3749ba1a105a63537364b2540.jpg

Empty parking lot at noon in the middle of June

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Empty parking lot at noon in the middle of June

IMG_2998.thumb.JPG.50271fff008a7e50b4491d41299a6e54.JPG

Almost no line on Saturday morning during 4th of July weekend.

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Curious thought, I know the fires are causing a lot of the tourism issues all over the area BUT how much do you think LR being down might be hurting the entire area as well? The numbers they are basing everything on pre fire included Dollywoods record attendance last year.. those folks had to stay, eat, and play at various other places while in town? I know the majority of the lower tourism revenue is probably due to the fire but all these folks who cancelled trips because of LR can't be helping.. we are only a small sample here but those folks aren't all staying at dreammore meaning reservations have been cancelled at other hotels and those people won't be eating or doing other activities while in town.. If a big place like Dollywood has issues, it can trickle down much quicker than one would think

 

Just an interesting thought

 

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My co-worker, her husband and daughter went to Pigeon Forge from the 2nd until the 8th. They said that the main drag in PF was pretty much crowded all week going into Gatlinburg and into the mountains, but Dollywood wasn't crowded during their visit last Friday.

 

And here is the real kicker...she said that LR was open, but none of them rode it. In fact, they didn't ride anything but one of the water rides! I asked her if they were utterly insane??? "You, you...went to Dollywood and didn't ride anything but a water ride????"

 

So yes folks, there are actually some people that go there that aren't into the coasters or rides...I know it's hard to believe as an enthusiast, but it's true!

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Quick question to those of you who are more familiar with the Dollywood area... Can someone give me some info on the "alpine/mountain" coasters near Dollywood?? We want to hit up as many of them as we can, and I'm sure someone here has a list of them some where!!

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I can confirm the strip in both pigeon forge and Gatlinburg are crowded and the mountains seem to be as crowded as they normally are, but most of my visits are on the weekend and evenings.. I know more locals go on the evening and weekends because they are in the area already and off.. I have made 3 visits during the day over the last tree weeks and it's been dead! I got to Splash Country one day at 2 and parked right by the front gate! The place was a ghost town.. Dollywood was in lot c and that it.. the strip was dead.. this was on both a Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon when I took some time off.. Both BEAUTIFUL days full of sun.. so yeah at times it has been dead at Dollywood and even the strip area

 

But we also have to remember, although Dollywood is running deals right now, they had a very significant price increase this season.. Some locals I know didn't renew their passes and just do other things in the area.. right now though Dollywood has some great deals

 

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Edited by dstephe9
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Dollywood always seems to rotate big years. Last year was a huge and this year is down. A lot of families buy season pass every other year. Also I think the new kids coaster and drop line was a last minute add to this year to try and help season pass sales. I have a feeling they will do something huge for 2018 to try and get those folks back.

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