After the fires, Gatlinburg reopens for business

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Wildfire blazes have scorched thousands of acres -- 300 buildings in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Pictured is what the city, looks like now.

The Smoky Mountains resort town of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, had a message Friday for the world: We are open — and back in business.

“I’m really anxious to get back to work and get things back to normal as much as they can be,” Terrina Worley, a Space Needle employee, on Thursday told CNN affiliate WVLT in Knoxville.

The area was hit hard by wildfires that killed 14 people, injured 175 and destroyed some 2,500 buildings.

Residents on Wednesday were allowed to come home permanently to find much of the area in burned out ruins.

But the city core was left largely intact. That includes Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, Ole Smoky Distillery, the convention center — and the Space Needle, which is anticipating New Year’s Eve, usually its biggest day of the year.

“We’ve heard a lot of rumors that people think we’re burned down,” said Matt Hensley, general manager of the Space Needle. “We just want everybody to know downtown is still good.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.