New gondola to showcase Gatlinburg from the skies

(Photo: WKRN)

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WKRN) – While families clean up and businesses rebuild after the deadly Sevier County wildfires, growth in Gatlinburg is happening.

The city’s newest attraction sits high above the parkway and offers a view worth millions.

Anakeesta brings people from the parkway on a gondola-style tram to a village for any age.

PHOTOS: Wildfires in East Tennessee

The tree canopy does just that. It gets you high up into the trees, on these bridges so you are up where the birds are,” said Bob Bentz with Anakeesta

Bentz says the growth is a plus for the Great Smoky Mountains.

“The mountains are the mountains. Gatlinburg is here,” added Bentz.

Those in tourism welcome the additions.

(Photo: WKRN)

“Three new hotels will be opening including the Margaritaville resort that will be opening next spring,” said Mark Adams with the Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Bentz said the attraction will open in the summer despite a setback from the wildfires.

“The southern side of the mountain, which is where the fire came, was damaged pretty heavily. The good news is that opened up some great views of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park,” said Bentz.

Bentz is excited to show every one what Gatlinburg looks like from the clouds.

“You can come up here, have a drink, get something to eat or you can be an adventurous person.”

Click here for complete coverage of the Sevier County wildfires.

(Photo: WKRN)