Blog for Zip line Attraction in the Smoky Mountains
Located in Pigeon Forge, TN and near Gatlinburg and Sevierville.
By Ross Bodhi Ogle
Posted on April 28, 2020
It's a big question on a lot of people's minds right now: “Will I be able to take a summer vacation this year?”
What we do know is that the State of Tennessee is relaxing its social lockdown restrictions beginning this week. That applies to 89 of the state's 95 counties, including Sevier County – home to Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville. The state's guidelines allow for the opening of restaurants and retail shops at limited capacity. Sevier County is also going to see the reopening of hotels and motels as well as some attractions, like music theaters in the coming days. However, at this time, Great Smoky Mountains National Park has not set a date for reopening, and as most folks know, the national park has historically been the great driver of traffic to this part of the country.
So technically, the short answer is yes, you may be able to take a summer vacation this year, provided that there isn't another lockdown at some point. But that trip may look a lot different from what you've been used to in years past. If you decide to spend some vacation time in the area, expect businesses to operate on a modified basis. At first, you'll see fewer patrons allowed into restaurants and shops, and social distancing protocols will likely be in place. Restaurant patrons, for example, will be spaced apart, and expect to see employees wearing masks and gloves. Right now, it's expected that as time goes on, provided the number of COVID cases doesn't increase, businesses will be able to gradually ease their restrictions. Of course, so much is unknown, and everyone is approaching the situation with caution and precaution.
Although many businesses are coming back, many are choosing to take more of a wait-and-see approach for the time being. At Smoky Mountain Ziplines, we're still evaluating our status and have not yet determined a reopening date. When we do, we'll announce it on our website and social media. We're eager to have people back to the best ziplines Pigeon Forge has, but we want to make sure that when we do, we can offer our guests an experience that will not put them or our employees at risk. Safety has always been our number-one priority, and that applies to a health crisis as much as it does zipline safety.
Whether or not you choose to come to the Smokies this summer is up to you. We understand why some would be hesitant. But if you do travel here this year, we hope that you will continue to maintain social distancing – trying to stay at least six feet away from other travelers. Also, masks go a long way toward helping prevent the spread of the coronavirus. If everyone wears masks, it can cut the probability of spreading the virus down to just 1.5 percent. And of course, continue frequent hand washing and sanitizing practices.
Also keep in mind that there are lots of things you can do in the Smokies to minimize your exposure once you're here. As we mentioned, you can follow safety protocols when you're in populated areas, but here are some other ideas for ways to travel at lower risk:
• Plan a fishing trip or hike in a location where you can have some relative privacy. If the national park reopens, there are ample opportunities for fishing, hiking and camping that will give you a great outdoor experience while helping you keep some distance from all the crowds.
• Take a scenic drive. There are beautiful spots outside the national park too, but once it reopens, there will be even more routes to choose from.
• Consider staying in an overnight rental cabin. They offer lots of privacy and are usually in gorgeous mountain settings.