6 months later, businesses encourage tourists to visit Sevier County

(Graphic: WKRN)

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WKRN) – This week marks six months since the devastating wildfires ripped through East Tennessee, killing 14 people.

While the community is still recovering and rebuilding, it needs tourists’ help to come back stronger than ever.

Dollywood is just one place you can go to help bring money to the area. The theme park has several new attractions, including the Drop Line and Junior Roller Coaster.

News 2 spoke to Dollywood’s publicist, Amber Davis, who said the most important thing for visitors to know is that community is still there and even more welcoming than before.

PHOTOS: Wildfires in East Tennessee

“You know, that’s something you see with Smokey Strong and you kind of see that everywhere when something awful happens. But mountain tough people, that’s for real,” Davis said.

She continued, “They’re resilient, and the thing is, the folks who live there are so proud. So proud of our mountains, and that’s what Dolly says she’s so proud of, and it’s really something that when you come you’re going to feel that warm embrace. We’re glad you’re coming, we need you, we want you to come visit. So we’re just going to welcome you like we never have before. We want you to see that we are better than ever.”

News 2 has crews heading to East Tennessee this week. We’ll have live coverage from there starting at on News 2 at 4 Tuesday.

Click here for complete coverage of the Sevier County wildfires.