Soaky Mountain suspends liquor sales after shooting incident

Soaky Mountain cocktails

Cocktails like these will be unavailable at Soaky Mountain for the remainder of the 2021 season (photo by Alaina O'Neal/TheSmokies.com)

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Soaky Mountain Waterpark’s management team has announced they are voluntarily suspending all liquor and beer sales for the remainder of the 2021 season.

This is in an effort to prove its commitment to safety.

According to Soaky Mountain officials, both the TN ABC and Sevierville Beer Commission support this decision. 

Soaky Mountain Waterpark is working with both of these agencies to further enhance its alcohol related policies and looks forward to an exciting, fun-filled 2022 season.

Officials note that the isolated actions of a handful of individuals are not representative of the experiences of the other 300,000-plus Soaky Mountain guests. 

“The safety of our employees, our loyal season pass holders and the other guests who visit our family waterpark is paramount,” said Dave Andrews, General Manager of Soaky Mountain Waterpark.

“We exist to provide opportunities for our guests to have fun and make memories together,” Andrews continued. “What happened in our parking lot was a senseless act of violence, and we remain committed to helping the Sevierville Police Department with their investigation.”

“We are grateful to everyone who reacted quickly to apprehend the suspect, and our thoughts and prayers are with the victim’s family.”

Previously, beer and alcoholic beverages such as cocktails were available at the family-friendly waterpark.

Soaky Mountain Waterpark is located at 175 Gists Creek Road, Sevierville, TN.
Soaky Mountain Waterpark is located at 175 Gists Creek Road, Sevierville, TN (photo courtesy of Soaky Mountain Waterpark)

What happened at Soaky Mountain?

The change in liquor sales follows incidents of reported intoxicated guests and individuals from the waterpark.

The most serious of which involved a fatal parking lot shooting on July 31, 2021.

According to the Sevierville Police Department incident report, two female victims were struck by gunfire in the Soaky Mountain Waterpark parking lot.

One was flown to the University of Tennessee Medical Center, and the other was transported to LeConte Medical Center.

One victim was pronounced dead shortly after medical transport.

The circumstance involved an argument between the individuals, according to the police report.

The three detainees face charges including public intoxication, possession of a handgun while under the influence, aggravated assault and second degree murder.

The report describes one detainee as “heavily intoxicated” and “acting belligerent”.

Soaky Mountain is a 50-acre attraction that opened last year in the Smokies. The park utilizes bag checks when guests enter the waterpark.

Soaky Shake at Soaky Mountain
For the remainder of 2021, Soaky Mountain will no longer serve alcoholic beverages. However, it will still offer other treats such as milkshakes from its Soaky Shake Shoppe (photo by Daniel Munson/TheSmokies.com)

Will alcohol return to Soaky Mountain Waterpark?

It is unclear what the future holds for liquor sales at Soaky Mountain.

However, waterpark officials are working with both the TN ABC and Sevierville Beer Commission to further enhance its alcohol related policies in 2022.

Meanwhile, Soaky will continue to serve other treats at restaurants and snack stands. For example, food items include tacos, pizza, burgers, milkshakes and macaroni creations from the Rolly Macaroni food truck.

Read Also: Soaky Mountain food menus: A list of snacks, treats

Is Soaky Mountain Waterpark open?

Soaky Mountain will be open through the end of August 2021 with select operating days in September.

Next month, the waterpark will remain open through Sept. 1-6 and on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the remainder of the month.

For the full operating calendar schedule, check their website.

Read Also: Soaky Mountain Waterpark slides and attractions: Your complete guide

What do you think of Soaky Mountain’s decision to suspend liquor sales for the remainder of the 2021 season? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Disclaimer: While we do our best to bring you the most up-to-date information, attractions or prices mentioned in this article may vary by season and are subject to change. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any mentioned business, and have not been reviewed or endorsed these entities. Contact us at info@thesmokies.com for questions or comments.

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5 thoughts on “Soaky Mountain suspends liquor sales after shooting incident”

  1. It shouldn’t be suspended advise a system that each person can only be served a certain # of drinks & maybe they have to be consumed @ the bar

  2. I don’t think a place that says it’s for “families” should sell alcohol period. What if a kid got shot? And it’s not smart to combine drinking alcohol with swimming or riding the attractions. You could drown or fall off one of the attractions or anything if you are intoxicated. Believe it or not you can have fun without alcohol.

  3. Alcohol sales should never be allowed to be sold at a family friendly environment. Kids don’t need to be around drunk fools that can’t handle their alcohol.

  4. Why on earth would you serve alcohol to people in a waterpark? Especially, a venue primarily designed for families with children? Maybe they could get in a boat and sell beer and wine to people on the lake. That’s just as stupid.

  5. My grandchildren look forward to traveling to Sevierville for the water parks. We weren’t able to visit in 2021. However, I will decide whether or not a future trip is safe. Selling alcohol at a family-oriented water venue where 12-year-olds can attend unsupervised does not meet that qualification. Please serve only nonalcoholic beverages!!

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