Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau
The Gatlinburg Convention & Visitors Bureau Sales Department would like to thank all our customers that selected Gatlinburg hotels, restaurants, attractions, and the Gatlinburg Convention Center for their conventions and programs in 2021. We truly appreciate that you entrust us in bringing your event to Gatlinburg. 
Gatlinburg continues to be the “go-to” destination as record numbers were recorded across the board in visitation and revenues in 2021. Conventions, groups, and meetings thrived in 2021 throughout the city at the convention center as well as hotels and unique venue offerings. Year 2022 is forecasting to be the busiest the Gatlinburg Convention Center will have in its 30+ year history. Perfect timing as well as the Gatlinburg Convention Center is currently undergoing and close to completing a 15 million dollars plus renovation. But rest assured, The Gatlinburg Convention Center and F&B catering staff are undertaking the required sanitization and safety protocols in preparations for the upcoming events. It is incredibly important for all convention center events to know their event is taking place in a facility that values and upholds the safety of all who enter the building.

Once again, thank you to all our customers for making, and continuing to make, Gatlinburg the number one preferred destination for conventions and groups in the United States.  
Gatlinburg at a Glance
Convention Center: 148,000 square feet of total space
Sleeping Rooms: 4,000+ Surrounding the convention center including full and limited-service hotels, condominiums, chalets, and cabins.
Dining Options: 100+ restaurants, from casual to elegant gourmet establishments with the majority within walking distance to hotels and the convention center.
Shopping: 500+ shops with 5 malls plus largest arts and crafts community in the u.s.
Attractions: 40+ along with many other entertainment options with the majority within walking distance to hotels and the convention center.
Rocky Top Sports World: Named top Multi-Use Sports Facility by SportsEvents Magazine and Favorite Indoor Venue by Sports Destination Management Magazine.
Gatlinburg Golf Course: Named Best Municipal Golf Course in Tennessee by Golf Digest Magazine.
Venue Spotlight
Ole Red Gatlinburg
Blake Shelton and Ryman Hospitality’s $9 million-dollar multi-level 16,000 square-foot entertainment venue with a two-story bar and restaurant, state of the art sound & media system, is more than a venue and more than a restaurant. Ole Red is the FULL country experience that will get you and your taste buds boot scootin’ with what Ole Red likes to call 100-proof live music, scratch-made dishes, and signature drinks – all inspired by the boss man himself: Blake Shelton.
Ole Red has unique breakout space(s) with a newly renovated outdoor patio. Ole Red offers a customizable floor configuration to fit an event’s needs. Ole Red’s first floor can accommodate 154 people seated / 464 reception. The second floor can accommodate 170 people seated / 424 reception. The outdoor patio can accommodate 38 people seated. Venue buyout capacity is 888 people.  

Gatlinburg Convention Center Renovations
The first wave of the exciting renovation the Gatlinburg Convention Center is undertaking is complete with the addition of new meeting space. The new space is located adjacent to the Mills Auditorium and offers the following meeting space:

*Mills Meeting Room 1 – 1,620 square feet
*Mills Meeting Room 2 – 1,620 square feet
These two meeting rooms can be combined into one meeting room for a total square footage of 3,240

*Mills Meeting Room 3 – 600 square feet
*Mills Meeting Room 4 – 690 square feet
These two meeting rooms can be combined into one meeting room for a total square footage of 1,290

Also completed with the new meeting rooms is newly created pre function space located in front of all the new meeting rooms. This pre function space is 2,250 square feet and will be an excellent area for registration areas, F&B buffet stations, etc.
These new meeting rooms and pre function space is the first completion of the convention center’s 15-million-dollar renovation project. Additional convention center renovation information will be provided as each of the phase is completed. 
Great Smoky Mountains National Park News
Park Sets Visitation Record with 14.1 Million Visits in 2021!
Great Smoky Mountains National Park experienced the busiest year on record with 14,137,812 visits. Visitation exceeded the 2019 record by 1.5 million visits and 2020 visitation by more than 2 million visits. The park has increasingly become a year-round destination with eight monthly visitation records set during the winter and spring months in 2021. 

 “In the last decade, park visitation has increased by 57%,” said Acting Superintendent Alan Sumeriski. “While increasing visitation presents complex challenges, we are honored to care for a park that is special to so many people. We remain committed to developing innovative solutions to provide the necessary support for visitor services and resource protection.” 

Gatlinburg’s close proximity to Great Smoky Mountains National Park only adds to the various activities that visitors and attendees have afforded to them while in Gatlinburg. Entrance to the Great Smoky National Park is less than a mile from Gatlinburg.

Gatlinburg Lodging Occupancy
Gatlinburg lodging occupancies continue to increase each year. Gatlinburg lodging just completed a record 2021 year for hotel and rental property occupancies.

Gatlinburg Hotel Occupancy
Year 2021 – 76.3%
Year 2020 – 54.7%
Year 2019 – 64.3%
Year 2018 – 63.6%

Gatlinburg Rental Property (Cabins/Condos) Occupancy
Year 2021 – 78.3%
Year 2020 – 59.5%
Year 2019 – 54.6%
Year 2018 – 53.8%

Gatlinburg continues to thrive with a record number of visitors to the Great Smoky National Park, many new conventions and groups coming to Gatlinburg each year, and being named by TripAdvisor as the Number 1 Trending Destination in the U.S. for 2021 doesn’t hurt either! Gatlinburg is filling up fast for conventions and groups. Get your dates locked in to experience why Gatlinburg has become one of the top destinations in the country.
Gatlinburg Convention Center Calendar of Events
GBAC Star Accreditation
The Gatlinburg Convention Center is the first in the region to achieve the Global Biorisk Advisory Council® (GBAC) STAR™ accreditation, the gold standard for prepared facilities. Under the guidance of GBAC, a Division of ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association, the Gatlinburg Convention Center has implemented the most stringent protocols for cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention in its facility.

To achieve GBAC STAR™ accreditation, Gatlinburg Convention Center was required to demonstrate compliance with the program’s 20 core elements, which range from standard operating procedures and risk assessment strategies to personal protective equipment and emergency preparedness and response measures. 
Gatlinburg Accolades
GCVB New Sales Manager
Tabitha Thomas is the new Sales Manager with the Gatlinburg Convention & Visitors Bureau replacing Kathy Evans who retired at the end of 2021. But Tabitha isn’t really new. Tabitha has been working in the Gatlinburg CVB Sales Department since 2015 as the department’s Sales Assistant.

Tabitha will be taking over Kathy’s accounts and markets and due to her extensive experience in the sales department, and being born and raised in Gatlinburg, Tabitha will have a smooth transition in her new role. Tabitha can be reached at and at 865-436-3612.
Gatlinburg Video's
Watch our video on things to do in Gatlinburg!
Check out this video on The Gatlinburg Convention Center
Gatlinburg CVB
We would love the chance to “update” you on all the new and exciting developments that Gatlinburg has going to ensure that when it comes to your future conventions, meetings, and events, Gatlinburg has your event covered!

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This edition of the Gatlinburg Update Quarterly Newsletter is our 20th. If you are interested in viewing earlier editions, please click GCVB Sales Quarterly Newsletter.
Gatlinburg CVB | Sales Department | 865-436-2392 ||