Sevier County Hospitality Sector Seeks Sports Tourism

Sevier County Hospitality Sector Seeks Sports TourismLook out Dollywood, there’s a new game in East Tennessee and the competition is quickly heating up. For years East Tennessee has been known as a vacation destination for families looking to enjoy the great outdoors in the Great Smoky Mountains, relax in a cabin, enjoy a show at a local theater or visit an amusement park, but in recent years Sevier County has been working hard to attract a different demographic: athletes and sports fans.

Sports tourism has become one of the fastest growing hospitality sectors. According to the National Association of Sports Commissions, sports tourism travel is a nearly $9 billion-a-year industry that has grown 20 percent over the past three years. Many Sevier County hospitality industry members have expressed interest in expanding youth sports infrastructure and accommodations. For example, after opening last July, Rocky Top Sports World in Gatlinburg was ranked as one of the top 5 new sporting venues in the country. According to reports, the facility is expected to have an economic impact between $10 million and $14 million. LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge, which opened in 2013, has already seen great success hosting large gymnastics tournaments and other events drawing thousands of visitors from across the country and is looking to expand their reach even further through the development of a Ripken Baseball facility set to open in 2016. A study commissioned by the city estimates the complex will generate $33 million in direct economic impact and host nearly 31,000 visitors in the first year, according to reports. Experts predict that by year 10 the facility will have an average $65.5 million economic impact.

The increase in sports tourism should have a substantial impact on local businesses, restaurants and hospitality providers, leading to ample opportunities for growth and development. At Barnes Insurance Agency, we strive to help Sevier County business owners assess their changing risk and loss exposure, especially as local business grow. We specialize in providing the Hospitality Insurance Tennessee hotel and motel owners need to protect their operation now and in the many years to come. We get to know your operation and the people that make it run so that we can help you craft the best risk management solutions for your needs. To learn more about our East Tennessee insurance agency, contact us today at (866) 733-5424.

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