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Wow- economy not good!

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posts: 226
reviews: 10
Wow- economy not good!

In PF now. First thing I noticed is that traffic is not as bad as usual. Second thing I noticed is that a,llot of shops are closed. Yes, there some new things open, but traffic was very light on the arts and crafts loop too. Vendors there and waitresses in restaurants are telling us business is way off this summer. Vacancy signs are everywhere. But- prices on everything are UP. I love the area but I am worried about their long term survival. The Apple Barn inventory on the floor is about half what it used to be. If this country doesn't get a grip on the economy, I'm not sure where we are headed. Gat/PF is a good pulse on middle class vacationing. It's still a great place with many fun things to do. I hope it pulls through this slide. Some people I have talked to this week tell me they are leaving - their wages are stagnant and they are not being treated well. I'm glad I came here this week, We pumped a little into the economy here. LOL.

posts: 1,340
reviews: 76
1. Re: Wow- economy not good!

I've noticed several places our last few trips that have closed, but new places have opened. Our trip for the September car shows are always super busy on the Thursday-Saturday and trying to eat in PF is tricky if you don't time it right. As much as a lot of people don't like the crowds/traffic it does help the economy and revenues.

posts: 226
reviews: 10
2. Re: Wow- economy not good!

Yep - they are saying the conventions are still busy but the normal vacation numbers are way down. No convention nhere this week...and it shows. I hope they can survive pretty much on conventions.

paintsville ky
Destination Expert
for Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg
posts: 1,389
reviews: 26
3. Re: Wow- economy not good!

I'm sure it will survive it is much cheaper than going to the beach and a much shorter drive for most than the beach which saves gas money, gas is up here this week for some reason it is $3.79 for reg. and it's $3.29 in Pigeon Forge. We were there last weekend and some places has went out but they have opened up some of the Island and we were surprised that they had so much open there, it will be fantastic, it is like Broadway at the beach. I think it will be a hit with everyone.

posts: 226
reviews: 10
4. Re: Wow- economy not good!

We live about half way between the beach and PF - it costs us about the same to go to either place. Gas prices in both places are comparable. We came up here because we couldn't get the accommodation we wanted this week at the beach and found a really neat house in S'Ville on Homeaway.com at a good price. BTW - VRBO had a lot of rentals open this week at the beach, but mostly the high-end rentals. So I am sure they are feeling the pinch too. This economy is troublesome and it seems to just go on and on.

Prattville, Alabama
posts: 933
5. Re: Wow- economy not good!

You'll find us there every year! It's actually shorter by about half the time for us to go to the beach, but we always go to the mountains.This year we're taking a short trip to the beach just because we haven't been there in so many years, but we still took our yearly winter Gatlinburg trip as well. And we'll be there again next year.

Melbourne, Florida
Destination Expert
for Melbourne, Florida
posts: 9,075
reviews: 82
6. Re: Wow- economy not good!

We will be doing our part to contribute in September! We stopped going to the Keys because it is now double what it used to cost us to go there. We come up to Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg and spend a week and just relax and enjoy the mountains. We noticed at Christmas time there were some places that were going out of business or were closed in Gburg. But I know they come & go pretty regular there too. I'm sure rent is up and people are doing more looking than buying nowadays. I think restaurants are the ones who seem to be doing the business. Even with everyone not working you don't see many restaurants that aren't full. I don't think anyone cooks anymore!

Muncie, IN
posts: 72
reviews: 16
7. Re: Wow- economy not good!

We are generally down for the 4th of July weekend and this year was the most crowded I have seen in several years. In fact it took two hours to get from PF to I-40

Washington DC...
posts: 197
reviews: 34
8. Re: Wow- economy not good!

We are still contributing every summer!

We have noticed that traffic is nowhere near as it used to be say 6-8 years ago. I even commented to my husband when we were driving to PF from Gatlinburg late one afternoon. It used to be bumper to bumper coming back into PF and this year it was just smooth sailing into town.

The Island was empty when we went there in June, but it was still brand new.

Mobile, Alabama
posts: 87
reviews: 18
9. Re: Wow- economy not good!

We only live 1.5 hours from the beach in Gulf Shores, AL but we got burned out on going there. The traffic is always terrible and it has grown up so much that it is just Condo's side by side and not a pretty as it was in the past. I have two trips to the mountains planned, one to bring my 75 yr old mother for her first real trip into the mountains on Oct 24 and my husband and I are planning another trip the week before Christmas. I booked a cabin in Townsend on Homeaway for the Oct. trip and they are becoming harder to find in that area now so that Peak Color time should still be crowded.

posts: 226
reviews: 10
10. Re: Wow- economy not good!

Show prices are up - lots of empty seats. We never had to wait in a restaurant the whole week we were there. Good side of that is - if you are reading this - go! You'll have a more pleasant experience and more lodging and entertainment to choose from!