As the fall nears in the Great Smoky Mountain destination of Gatlinburg, a new attraction is now open for families to enjoy. Anakeesta opened to the public on Friday, September 1, 2017, after nearly one year of development. While the project was delayed a bit due to last November’s wildfires in the area, Anakeesta stands strong today, offering a variety of great mountaintop adventures for guests of all ages. Guests begin their experience with a 14-minute chondola ride up 600 feet to the top of Anakeesta mountain. The 70-acre, $47 million project offers activities like scenic chondola rides, dueling ziplines, treetop canopy walks, treehouse playground for children, interactive gem mining, and so much more. In late fall of 2017, Anakeesta plans to add a single-rail alpine coaster for additional fun. Future plans beyond that are also quite intriguing with overnight accommodations in treehouses and cabins and an amphitheater among the current scheduled additions for 2018. “I know that Anakeesta is going to be a huge success. People won’t believe their eyes when they get to the top,” said Mayor of Gatlinburg, Mike Werner. “I welcome such a wonderful addition to our community.”
Named after the Cherokee word meaning “the place of high ground,” Anakeesta combines fun, thrills, and amazing views that visitors of Gatlinburg and the surround Smoky Mountains region will not want to miss. “Our goal at Anakeesta is to give Gatlinburg locals and visitors alike a truly memorable mountain experience that offers both adventure and relaxation,” said managing partner Bob Bentz. “We have had endless support from the community and we’re so excited to share the beauty of Anakeesta with everyone.” In addition to all of the thrilling and fun activities, there will be plenty of great shopping in FireFly Village, much of which will showcase local artists and craftsmen. Last but certainly not least, Anakeesta offers a Memorial Fire Walk that provides an accurate accounting of the November 2016 wildfires in Gatlinburg and surrounding Sevier County. This memorial walk will feature an exhibit by photographer Jeremy Cowart titled, “Voices of Gatlinburg.” Guests can see some of the damage first-hand while learning about what happened on that heart-wrenching evening. Guests will definitely want to allow time for this memorial experience.
For updated pricing and attraction offerings at Anakeesta, be sure to check out their website and social media channels – Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Of course, check back for more details at Coaster Addict as we get additional details and experience this amazing destination for ourselves.
[Feature image courtesy of Anakeesta.]