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April 2014 E-Clips

Firechaser Express roller coaster Dollywood's newest attraction (Attractions Management)  The Firechaser Express roller coaster is the newest ride to open at Dollywood after its launch on 21 March at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge,  Tennessee, US.  The coaster is a multi-launch coaster, which launches riders forward and backwards and was built by Germany-based Gerstlauer which previously manufactured Dollywood’s award-winning Mystery Mine Euro-fighting coaster.  The forward launch speed is zero to 16mph in 1.1 seconds and the backward launch speed is zero to 20mph in 2 seconds. Read more

Franklin Civil War park ready for visitors (Tennessean) Years of planning, fund-raising and questions about Franklin's Civil War battlefield park can officially end this week with the dedication next Thursday of Franklin's 110-acre Eastern Flank Battle Park. The dedication, nearly 10 years after the land was purchased, will lead to more events later this year tied to the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Franklin, including the demolition of the Domino's Pizza restaurant on Columbia Avenue for a new battlefield park. The former golf club turned battlefield park has been open since Franklin acquired the property with more than $5 million in city funds and donations back in 2005 from developer Rod Heller. Heller bought the land in order to preserve it from development. Read more

U.S. Hotels Post Positive Results in Mid-March U.S. Hotels Post Positive Results in Mid-March (WPC.com) According to STR, the U.S. hotel industry posted positive results in the three key performance measurements during the middle of March. In year-over-year measurements, the industry's occupancy increased 0.9 percent to 66.9 percent. Average daily rate rose 2.6 percent to finish the week at US$115.36. Revenue per available room for the week was up 3.5 percent to finish at US$77.19. Read more

Tennessee awards tourism marketing campaign to Kansas City-based firm (Business Journal) The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development has awarded a five-year marketing contract to Kansas City-based VML. Read more

Main Street program helps TN towns revitalize downtowns (WSMV)  Lower Broadway is a huge draw for Nashville tourism, helping fuel the local economy. Now, some other Middle Tennessee communities are trying to capitalize on their own unique assets, hoping for the same success. That includes Portland, TN, which was once a major stop on the railroad. Read more

Music City Bowl has $250 million economic impact (Tennessean/Rau) Nashville's college football bowl game each December has become major business for Music City during an otherwise weak time for tourism. Last year's Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl brought over 40,000 out-of-town fans to Nashville and had a $19.6 million impact on the local economy, according to research made public Thursday by the Nashville Sports Council. The bowl game has had a total economic impact of nearly $250 million over its 16-year history. Read more  (SUB)

Jefferson Street businesses hope ballpark lifts economy (Tennessean)  Looking out the window of his Craighead Barber Shop on an otherwise quiet Monday for business, Joe Trotter expresses optimism that the new ballpark planned at Sulphur Dell would bring more traffic and also patrons to his side of Jefferson Street. Read more

Leadership Cheatham County visits Capitol Hill (SC Advocate) The Leadership Cheatham County class spent the day in Nashville Tuesday at the State Capitol, learning about the legislative process on the state level. The day was highlighted with educational meetings with state leaders from a variety of state departments. Read more

Adventure Tourism in Tennessee (Examiner) One of the hottest national and international trends in tourism circles is Adventure Tourism. According to a 2010 study by George Washington University,, Adventure Tourism is a $89 billion industry, combine that with another $53 billion in auxiliary sales of gear, apparel and accessories and you have an economic engine worthy of some attention, especially in these economic times.  Survey respondents were asked questions about their past three trips and intentions for future trip. Read more

National Ag Day Celebrated in West Tennessee (WBBJ TV) Farmers in West Tennessee say they hope residents will take an extra minute to appreciate the food on their table this National Ag Day. Madison County farmer, Andrew Donnell, tells WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News his farm has been in his family for 178 years. "We grow cotton, corn, soybeans. Occasionally grow cattle and sell beef," Donnell said. "We also have a corn maze and pumpkin patch." Donnell said people often forget that the clothes we wear and food we eat exist because of local farmers, and we shouldn't take it for granted. "Without farmers, we would have to spend the majority of our day growing crops and food because it's our basic needs we have to have every day," Donnell expressed. "We have to have water...we have to have food." Read more

Looking for markers: Historians use modern technology to map county (DNJ.com) For most of its history, Rutherford County has been rural with family farms dotting the landscape. Over the past 200 years, families, farms and entire communities have come and gone leaving little in their wake. The one exception is cemeteries. Most are small family plots associated with old family farms. Others are the final resting place of a community, like Cannon Cemetery in Smyrna. Read more

Stars perform at Graceland  (Muskogee Phoenix) Graceland is celebrating the 60th Anniversary of Rock ‘n’ Roll throughout 2014, commemorating the first Elvis recording played on the radio on July 8, 1954. Elvis walked into Sun Studios in Memphis on July 5 and recorded “That’s All Right” with guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black. DJ Dewey Phillips played the song on July 8 on WHBQ radio. Rock ‘n’ Roll was born, and the music world was forever changed. Read more

Three celebrity-themed restaurants to open in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee (Examiner) Family fun time just got more delicious with the announcement of three celebrity-themed restaurants soon to be open in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Tentatively scheduled to open by the end of summer 2014, Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen, Hard Rock Café and Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville restaurants are sure to bring new and exciting menu options for Smoky Mountain vacationers to enjoy. Read more

Tourism–Carter Cave Natural Area (Grundy County Herald) The Carter Cave Natural Area is another prize of the South Cumberland Recreation Area. This area is located off the mountain along Highway 56 near the town of Sherwood. The land was donated to the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation in 1976. The area consists of 140 acres and protects a great geological feature of the area – Lost Cove Cave. Read more

‘Saddle Up’ Draws Cowboy Fans from 22 States to Pigeon Forge (Knoxville Daily Sun) Visitors from at least 22 states attended Saddle Up, a cowboy culture special event that Pigeon Forge organizes as its last major component of Pigeon Forge Winterfest.   The five-day celebration in late February featured concerts by top cowboy and cowgirl musicians and poets, a chuck wagon cookoff and other western-themed activities. Read more

 

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