On our visits to Gatlinburg, we are happy to see the area recovering from the fire. This page contains updated information. We have also posted pictures on a separate page. Click here to see those photos.
March 7, 2017 – our first visit to Gatlinburg since the fire. It is quickly clear to us that photographs don’t really show the full extent of the damage. The good news is that we see almost no evidence of damage in the City of Gatlinburg (or Pigeon Forge). Areas earlier reported as destroyed (such as Hillbilly Golf) are still there. Damage to Arrowmont has been cleaned up and rebuilding is well underway. You can still enjoy all your favorite shops and amusements in Gatlinburg!
But as soon as we get off the main Parkway, the damage is very evident. We drive up Ski Mountain Road and across Wiley Oakley to Chalet Village North, then down Village Loop Road to All Decked Out, where we meet our next-door neighbor, Darren Phillips. We’ve stayed in close touch with Darren and he is a huge help in working through many details. He is also interested in buying our lot. We are happy to see that many of the lots around All Decked Out have already been cleaned up and grass is growing. We make arrangements with Marshall Wolfe to clean up the All Decked Out lot.
March 21, 2017 – we return to Gatlinburg for very important event. We have worked out details and Darren is buying the lot on which All Decked Out stood. He intends to build a handicap-accessible rental cabin on the site. We close the deal, then go to All Decked Out to check on the clean-up. It’s good to see that much of the trash has been removed from inside the foundation. One of the bright spot is a few places where we find flowers blooming – like the ones shown in the photo at the top of this page.
We also use this opportunity to visit the property of our former rental property – Smoky Mountain Tower. Unfortunately, the people who bought Smoky Mountain Tower have had to declare bankruptcy. So this property is now in the hands of an out-of-state trustee, and nothing has been done to the lot. The good news, though, is that almost every other lot on the street has been cleaned and two owners are already rebuilding!
May 8, 2017 – on our way to middle Tennessee for high school graduation of two of our grandchildren, we make a quick trip through Chalet Village North. It’s great to see that many properties have been cleaned up and a few are starting to rebuild. There is a lot of construction traffic on Wiley Oakley from the Gatlinburg Welcome Center up to the area where All Decked Out was located.
Our former lot isn’t completely clean, but everything has been removed from inside the foundation. The biggest thing we notice is that there is not a single living tree in the area around All Decked Out. Only a half-mile away, there are trees starting to get new leaves at the top. But every tree around All Decked Out is dead. We have been told that the fire was probably the hottest in this area and, even though the trees don’t look burned, the heat boiled the sap – thus killing the trees.