Some tourists skeptical but glad they made the trip to Gatlinburg

(Photo: WKRN)

GATILNBURG, Tenn. (WKRN) – From birthdays to anniversaries, or just weekend getaways, so many people make memories when visiting Gatlinburg, but after the fires, some were scared to make the trip back.

However, it’s not even the middle of summer and tourists are already starting to flock to the recovering city.

Some tourists told News 2 they were skeptical but knew they made the right choice once they arrived.

“It was just as beautiful as it was when I was 13, and nothing really changed,” said Pamela Cook.

“This is our little honeymoon spot. We come up here two to three times a year,” said Chelsea Pinkerton.

It’s a special place that’s still recovering from the devastating wildfires that killed 14 people and ruined much of Gatlinburg.

(Photo: WKRN)

“I was kind of upset at first because I don’t want to find another place to go visit because we love to come up here,” Pinkerton told News 2.

A drive into town might not immediately reveal all the loss, but it’s there.

“You could see where the fires had hit up on the mountain, just streaks of black,” Pinkerton said.

The businesses depend on those who make the trip every year, and while there was loss, there is still a lot to do.

Just ask the Pinkertons.

“They still got plenty of things you can do here. Can’t do it all in a few days anyway,” said David Pinkerton.

“It is still a lively place, still a lot going on,” his wife added.

So if you’re thinking about making the trip this summer, take it from those who have been already.

“I was worried when we came up here that things would be gone, but it’s not, it’s here and people need to come,” Cook added.