Pigeon Forge hates tourist and neighbors
Posted in the Pigeon Forge Forum
#1 Jun 19, 2008
We are all worried about the economy. High gas prices, increased grocery prices, everything seems to be skyrocketing in price. Will we be able to vacation in the Smokies this year?
On our last trip to Sevier County, Tennessee, we went to all three cities. What we found there was disturbing to say the least.
In Sevierville, the traffic was heinous. Every traffic signal was red. That should have been a warning. While we waited and waited to get on with our vacation. We felt like we had to stop just to get out of traffic. We thought we were fortunate to find a great looking store almost right away (after 40 minutes in traffic).
My wife decided to buy a gift for me at the Smoky Mountain Knife Works. She knows that I have an affinity for a certain style of knife and that they carry an affordable line of those knives created in damascus steel. When she asked for the one she had spotted in their catalogue, she was directed to the "poor man's knives" by one of the sales associates. She bought the knife for me ($25) but felt like she was getting something inferior to what she wanted to buy for me. It was a gift and I loved it, but her experience told me to never shop there again. I am sure there are people who can spend more than $100 on a knife that they will use every now and then, but I would bet that most people who shop there don't spend more than $25 to $45.
Pigeon Forge wasn't any better. The shop clerks there talked about how if it is tourist season, why can't we shoot them. Another said that if "They would all go home, we could get to work on time." They really hate tourists in Pigeon Forge. When I mentioned this at one of the city's information centers, I was told that if I didn't like it, I should vacation "somewhere else." Apparently they get enough from property and other local taxes that even the people who work for the city's Department of Tourism feel they don't need any more visitors.
In Gatlinburg, where we stayed for a few days, we felt a little more relaxed, until we went into a sandwich shop at the Reagan Terrace Mall and bought sandwiches and their iced tea, which according to their signs is a specialty. We were all pretty thirsty because of the hot weather and asked for refills on the tea. Imagine our shock when we were told that it would cost 75 cents each to refill the $2.50 iced teas we had ordered. It doesn't cost $2.50 to brew a restaurant sized pot of tea! We had spent more than $50 there and they wanted to charge us to refill our tea!
I could do the itemization and what it was really worth like they do in the Visa commercials, but the only thing that is priceless in Sevier County is the bottom line - they all want more, more, more. If it hadn't been for the Russians working in the the various shops and restaurants there, I honestly don't think we would have seen any genuine concern for hospitality.
Next time I go on vacation, I'm going to Russia instead of the Smoky Mountains. At least they give you a smile when you give them your money.
To top it off, when I asked about anything in one of the cities that I was not in (and it's hard to tell which city you are in because the signage is pitiful) I was told - all three cities - "I don't know anything about that." My impression was that not only did they hate me and my ilk (tourist) they hate each other because one might get a dollar that they could have ripped from me.
I spent more than $1,500 for a week in Sevier County. I will make the money back, despite our foundering economy, but I will never get the week back that I could have spent with my family at a place where they appreciate that people want to be treated in a civil manner and will pay for great service and product.
The old saying is, if everything is perfect you can expect a customer to tell a couple of friends. If there is a problem, he will tell everyone. I would recommend any place over the Smoky Mountains to anyone who will listen.
#2 Jun 19, 2008
If it weren't for the Russian hookers, there would be no reason to go to Pigeon Forge. Anyone know of any motels or storefronts that are Russian brothels?
#3 Jun 19, 2008
I know of several. Stop by any of the Pigeon Forge information centers for details. Our girls will give you more than a smile for your $;)~
#4 Nov 5, 2008
When a resort area starts chargine enormous prices they have plenty of people and don't care. I bet Pigeon Forge could double their prices and still have plenty of people. I live near Ocean City Maryland. That place is only a Summer resort and those bastards will rip you off big time. It's the way the resorts work. Soon the local people will leave Pigeon Forge, because property becomes high and so much traffic. So they move 30 miles away.
#7 Nov 18, 2008
You will love the latest Dolly Attraction, Free Child Molesting by Illegal Aliens.
#8 Nov 18, 2008
Former Sevier Tourist, you did not go to the Smoky Mountains. You went to Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. The Smoky Mountains are outside of the Gatlinburg city limits. So please do not complain about the Smoky Mountains. Because they are beautiful, and will always welcome you.
#9 Nov 19, 2008
BY JEFF FARRELL
A former Dixie Stampede employee will finally face charges he molested child employees while working there more than a year ago.
Authorities in Rocky Mount, N.C., arrested Armando Martinez Gonzalez on Feb. 28, officials said Wednesday. The town is near Raleigh. A sergeant at the police department said Gonzales was arrested during a routine traffic stop. He gave police a local address and told them he was employed at an area store.
Gonzales allegedly fled to Mexico before a Sevier County Grand Jury returned a sealed indictment charging him with 12 counts of aggravated sexual battery in December 2004. He was employed at Dixie Stampede dinner theater when he allegedly molested four child performers there. He was suspended and later fired by the theater.
It wasn't clear Wednesday why he had returned to the United States.
"We tried to get the Mexican government to arrest him and return him to us, but we could never get any cooperation," District Attorney General Al Schmutzer Jr. said Wednesday. "Fortunately, for whatever reason, he decided to return to the United States and was arrested in North Carolina."
Gonzalez was being held at the Nash County (N.C.) Jail. He has waived extradition from North Carolina, according to Schmutzer's office. Sevier County sheriff's deputies are expected to get him Friday and bring him back to await trial
Each charge against Gonzales carries a sentence of eight to 12 years in the penitentiary. His alleged victims were all under age 10 at the time of the incidents.
Pigeon Forge detective Kenny Bean investigated the case.
The parents of the four alleged victims have filed civil suits against Dixie Stampede claiming the theater allowed Gonzales access to their children without the supervision of their parents, failed to investigate prior allegations against Gonzales at the theater and hindered the police investigation.
Dixie Stampede has denied responsibility for any incidents. Spokesman Pete Owens said the theater has always cooperated fully with the investigation.
"Now that Gonzales is in police custody, the truth of what happened in November 2004 will finally be known and the case can be adjudicated," Owens said. "We look forward to that process and the final outcome of the case."
Dixie Stampede suspended Gonzales after the investigation started and fired him after learning he had been charged.
An attorney representing the families of the victims said they were grateful for the efforts of the district attorney general's office and law enforcement authorities.
"All of them are relieved to know he's in custody where he can't hurt any more children," Stephen Burroughs said.
"The families are hopeful for a resolution to the civil cases against Dixie Stampede so that they may truly achieve closure and continue the healing process," he added.
#10 Apr 28, 2011
SERIOUSLY I have lived in sevierville all my life and yes, we all hate tourists like you. You come here and drive 15 mph under the speed limit and slow down at every turn just in case its your turn. On top of all this you guys have the nerve to go into our stores and treat the employees like crap and leave $1 dollar tips (in change). And the people who cause the traffic are all tourists so you can blame yourself for that.
#11 Apr 29, 2011
I too get tired of hearing some of the local people who complain about the tourist. As the owner of a cabin rental business that rents cabins and condos in all three cities and Sevier County, I would fire an employee on the spot if they talked to a customer in that manner. There is no excuse for such behavior especially from the Department of Tourism. All I can say is shame on them and obviously some of them have been there too long and need to move on to something else. Do these people not realize they would not have a job without all the tourist who come to visit this beautiful area. I guess they are just unhappy people that complain all the time and like to blame others for their lazy ways. I apologize for all the problems you had. I stand in the lobby of my business on busy days and talk to the customers and ask them what they would like to do while they are here and try to help them find all the hidden little jewels that are still left in whatever city. I believe that a person comes to visit the entire area and does things in all of the cities. Believe me everyone here does not have that attitude. Please consider another visit and give us another chance. I sincerely apologize again for your bad experience. Everyone here is not like that.
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