I’ve been told for most of my life that “all you need is love”.
But, it turns out that in Gatlinburg at least, you need love and a five-spot.
With this in mind, Gatlinburg’s SkyLift Park is showing its love to residents of Sevier, Cocke, Knox, Jefferson, Blount and Hamblen counties, as well as those who work in Sevier County, with its Local Appreciation Days.
The park will grant admission for a week to the above locals for just $5 (a $24 discount off a regular adult ticket).
That fiver (plus tax) grants access to the SkyLift, SkyBridge, SkyDeck, SkyCenter and possibly the SkyTrail, officials said in an announcement that included the park’s pronouncement of love.
When are Local Appreciation Days at SkyLift Park?
Local Appreciation Days are Nov.1 through Nov. 7, 2021. Residents must present a valid ID, and Sevier County workers must provide a current pay stub showing proof of employment.
Tickets for the $5 admission can only be purchased onsite at the SkyLift Park ticket window, not online.
Here’s what locals and workers will get with their love and $5.
Access to the historic SkyLift
A Gatlinburg landmark since 1954, the lift carries guests up to 1,800 feet above sea level to the top of Crockett Mountain, named – I think – after Don Johnson’s character in Miami Vice. From there, the Sky’s the limit.
The original SkyLift was destroyed in the tragic 2016 Gatlinburg fires. The current smooth, comfortable three-seat chairlift was constructed in 2017.
The ride is still considered the longest-running attraction in town.
Access to the SkyBridge
The longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America stretches almost 700 feet – that’s more than two football fields to you and me – hanging at a height of 500 feet over Gatlinburg.
The middle of the bridge includes 30 feet of see-through glass.
Truly, it is a bucket-list type experience that offers amazing panoramic views of the village of Gatlinburg below and the mountains beyond.
Access to the SkyDeck
After pumping unhealthy amounts of adrenaline through your veins on the SkyBridge, come over to the SkyDeck and chill out.
The SkyDeck’s amphitheater seating offers a wide view of the Smokies as well as Gatlinburg below. It’s a great place for family photos or to stop and rest with a snack or craft beer.
Or on cooler nights – as it will likely be in November – a hot beverage.
In addition, the SkyDeck amphitheater features outdoor seating areas, a tiered waterfall, a fire pit and the spectacular SkyCenter building.
Access to the SkyCenter
The SkyCenter is billed as offering “Brew, Views and Good Food”, which I mean, I guess two out of three ain’t bad.
In fact, do you think the PR team just couldn’t think of a good rhyme to finish out the slogan? Was “Brews, Views and Good Chews” rejected or never thought of?
And what’s the point of rhyming positions one and two if you’re going to totally blow it off in position three? How about “Beers, Fears and Good Cheers”?
Or blow off the rhyming altogether and keep up with the “Sky” theme. Come on up to the SkyCenter and get a BrewSky! No. Forget that. That stinks.
Maybe we could break it up. Come to the SkyCenter for Brews and Views and we’ve got good food, dude.
It’s a work in progress.
So anyway, the SkyCenter, as you probably have surmised – is the mercantile and epicurean heart of the place.
And in addition to the craft “BrewSkies”, there’s pizzas, pretzels, wraps, chili and a variety of hot dogs including Polish and corn.
Also, souvenir photos of you riding up the mountain on the SkyLift can be purchased. Here’s to hoping you were smiling.
And in addition to the first-floor gift shop, the second floor offers a massive seating area where you can take in the view safe from the elements.
Access to the SkyTrail (maybe)
The SkyTrail is slated to open late fall at the time of this writing. However, recently SkyPark officials have indicated there will be an announcement in October.
Could the trail open prior to Nov. 1? Though work is underway, it seems unlikely to me. But that is a total guess as I am unfamiliar with just how long it takes to build a SkyTrail.
Visit SkyLift Park’s event page to learn more.
Have you visited Gatlinburg Skylift Park? Let us know in the comments!