Gatlinburg fire impacts tourism


AND THEN AFTER. SCORCHING THOUSANDS OF ACRES IN THE MOUNTAIN RESORT AREA. MEANWHILE OTHER TERRORIST AREAS ARE GETTING BACK TO NORMAL. DOLLY WOOD REOPENED THIS AFTERNOON. THE AMUSEMENT PARK WAS SPARED ANY DAMAGE. HER CHARITY PLEDGED FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO RESIDENTS WHO LOST THEIR HOME IN THE DEADLY FIRES. THE GATLINBURG AREA IS SUCH A DESTINATION FOR PEOPLE TO VISIT. PEOPLE IN THE UPSTATE ARE REALLY FEELING THE LOSS FROM THE FIRE. IT’S A PERSONAL FAMILY VACATION DESTINATION. LAURA THOMAS TALKED TO ONE LOCAL WOMAN WHO IS FEELING THE PAIN OF LOSS. REPORTER: VICKI ASHLEY HAS BEEN A TIMESHARE OWNER AT WEST GATE SMOKY MOUNTAIN RESORT SINCE 2004. IT’S BEAUTIFUL. IT’S BEAUTIFUL INSIDE. AND THE VIEWS. IT CAN’T BE BEAT. SHE VISITED A FEW WEEKS AGO. WHEN SHE HEARD ABOUT THE FIRE, SHE COULDN’T BELIEVE IT. I WAS WATCHING TV. AND I SAW WHAT WAS GOING ON. AND I REALLY WAS DEVASTATED. THE SAME BUILDING SHE STAYED IN AND TOOK PICTURES OF IN OCTOBER BURNED TO THE GROUND. I PRAISE THE LORD THAT I WAS ABLE TO GO THE WEEK THAT WE WENT. AND I PRAISE GOD THAT I DID NOT, WAS NOT THERE DURING IT. BECAUSE BEING ON OXYGEN, I WOULD NOT HAVE SURVIVED IT. WEST GATE POSTED ON ITS FACEBOOK PAGE THAT IT WILL REBUILD IMMEDIATELY. THAT’S OUR MESSAGE. WE’LL BE OKAY. THE GATLINBURG MAYOR SPOKE ABOUT THE TOURIST TOWN BOUNCING BACK. IF YOU WANT TO DO SOMETHING FOR GATLINBURG, WE’LL BE BACK ON OUR FEET IN A SHORT TIME, COME VISIT US. COME VACATION HERE. COME STAY IN OUR HOTELS AND OUR CONDOS AND OUR CHALETS AND EAT IN OUR RESTAURANTS AND ENJOY OUR ATTRACTIONS. SHE MIGHT WAIT A YEAR OR SO BEFORE SHE VISITS AGAIN. I WANT TO GO BACK. BUT I WANT TO GIVE THEM TIME TO HEAL. LOOKING FORWARD TO HER NEXT TRIP WHILE PRAYING FOR THEIR PROGRESS. I’M GOING TO MISS THAT. AND I’M SURE IT’S GOING TO TAKE A LITTLE TIME. OBVIOUSLY. SHE DIDN’T LOSE POSSESSIONS OR PROPERTY AND HER HEART GOES OUT TO THE FOLKS IMPACTED BY THAT. BUT YOU ALL FEEL AN OWNERSHIP WITH GATLINBURG. IF YOU GO TO VISIT. IF YOUR FAMILY GOES THERE. YOU FEEL A LOSS. BEFORE MY GRANDFATHER DIED. WE CELEBRATED HIS 80th BIRTHDAY IN GATLINBURG. AND IT IS LIKE A PART OF YOU IS CONNECTED TO THAT TOWN. AND YOU PAY VERY CLOSE ATTENTION TO WHAT’S HAPPENING THERE. I’M SO GLAD TO HEAR

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