Gatlinburg Convention & Visitors Bureau

We have resumed our quarterly newsletter, The Gatlinburg Update, and are excited to begin the process of welcoming back events, groups, and meetings back to Gatlinburg. The Gatlinburg CVB Sales team truly appreciates the efforts and cooperation that has taken place with the many events that would have and will take place in Gatlinburg during these extraordinary times. Hopefully, you found Gatlinburg helpful during these times as well. We know that working together, we can all get through what has been some trying times.

In this issue, we focus on the proactive efforts the Gatlinburg Convention Center is taking leading up to all upcoming events regarding sanitation and safety protocols, the recent first event (Encore DCS Regional Competition) that took place at the convention center on June 5-6, a new caterer for the Gatlinburg Convention Center, and a new real time rideshare and prearranged transportation service in Gatlinburg.
Gatlinburg at a glance
  • Convention Center: (148,000 square feet of total space)
  • Sleeping Rooms (4,000+ surrounding 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 convention center)
  • Shopping: (500+ shops with 5 malls plus largest Arts & Crafts Community in the U.S.)
  • Attractions: (40+ along with many other entertainment options with the majority within walking distance to hotels and convention center)
  • Rocky Top Sports Complex: (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)
Encore DCS Regional Competition
Encore DCS Regional

The Gatlinburg Convention Center was thrilled to have the first event back in the building this past June 5-6 with the Encore DCS Regional Competition. Encore DCS has been coming to Gatlinburg for 10+ years and we received the following statement from Rhonda Marchant, Director, after the completion of the event:

“Thank you so much for taking all of the extra steps and precautions to make our first event back in business such a success! I heard nothing but positive kind words of gracious appreciation and thanks for giving these dancers a stage to perform. The Gatlinburg team is amazing!!! With plenty of space to spread out (social distancing practiced), delicious food and healthy snacks at concessions, always checking on me and my staff and impeccable cleanliness of the entire building, I am beyond grateful!!! I wish all of our venues were as top notch as yours!
Thanks again! We are looking forward to coming back for many years to come!!”

Encore DCS strives to provide dancers, parents, and teachers with the most organized and professionally run dance competition with the highest level of southern hospitality and superior customer service to promote, inspire, and encourage all dancers with nationally acclaimed judges, a warm and friendly staff, and positive inspiration combined with a fun family atmosphere. We do this all to honor God and seek to share our success by reaching out into our community and helping those in need.
The Gatlinburg Convention Center has made proactive efforts leading up to all upcoming events regarding sanitation and safety protocols:

  • The Gatlinburg Convention Center has converted all processes in the restrooms to “hands free” including flush valves, soap dispensers, faucets, and hand dryers / dispensers.
  • There are hand sanitizer stations located at the entrances, in each restroom and in conspicuous places throughout the facility like on the columns in the Great Hall.
  • The Gatlinburg Convention Center staff has been re-trained on cleaning procedures with emphasis on germicidal and sanitizer use. The convention center has purchased extra Personal Protective Equipment for the staff, extra bloodborne pathogen kits, and virus prevention supplies.
  • CDC information posters have been posted in the restrooms to inform the public about the virus and proper hygiene procedures to prevent its spread. 
  • Convention center staff has been trained on what to do if they become sick before or during a shift or if a family member becomes sick.
  • Convention Center staff will have their temperature checked and/or answer questions before the start of each shift.
  • We have a plan in place to isolate a guest that becomes ill inside the facility as we wait for EMS. EMS has been trained to handle possible Covid19 patients.
  • Continuous sanitation throughout the Convention Center has been enhanced and increased in conjunction with the information listed above.
  • Floor stickers and signs will be placed throughout the convention center instructing and reminding attendees to socially distance.
  • Seating for any food court set up, audience, and other seating areas will meet the distancing guideline in place on the day of the event.
  • The convention center has acquired an electrostatic sanitization system that charges the particles causing them to adhere to surfaces for 24 hours. We will “fog” all restrooms that are part of an event daily before a show opens. We will still perform the accelerated restroom cleaning throughout the day. More information at
  • The Gatlinburg Convention Center is currently in the process of becoming GBAC Gold Star Certified.  GBAC (Global Biorisk Advisory Council) a division of the Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association, is the cleaning industry’s only outbreak prevention, response, and recovery accreditation for facilities. GBAC STAR is the gold standard of prepared facilities. Below is a description detailing this program and certification. 

The Convention Center will meet or exceed the recommendations from the office of the Governor of Tennessee that are in place during all future events held in the Convention Center. 
The Gatlinburg CVB and Convention Center has decided to move forward with becoming a GBAC Star Accredited Facility. GBAC (Global Biorisk Advisory Council) a division of the Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association, is the cleaning industry’s only outbreak prevention, response, and recovery accreditation for facilities. GBAC STAR is the gold standard of prepared facilities.
This accreditation will mean that the Gatlinburg Convention Center will have:
  • Established and maintained a cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention program to minimize risks associated with infectious agents like the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).
  • The proper cleaning protocols, disinfection techniques, and work practices in place to combat biohazards and infectious disease.
  • Highly skilled cleaning professionals who are trained for outbreak and infectious disease preparation and response.
What will the GBAC STAR Facility Accreditation Mean for the Gatlinburg Convention Center? 
It means that the Gatlinburg Convention Center staff is implementing the industry’s highest standards for cleaning and disinfection of infectious agents like the novel coronavirus. Proper procedures, proper training, chemistry, equipment, tools, and PPE are also instituted and assured. 
What Are the Benefits of Being a GBAC STAR Accredited Facility?
The GBAC STAR Accreditation Program provides third-party validation that the Gatlinburg Convention Center meets a higher level of cleanliness and safety.
Who Determines Accreditation?
The Accreditation Council is the accrediting body to the GBAC STAR Facility Accreditation Program, and the council determines the status of the all GBAC STAR facilities.
What does GBAC Star mean to Gatlinburg Convention Center customers and events:
  • The assurance that the facility has been disinfected to the highest standards
  • Renewed trust in building cleanliness and safety
  • Increased confidence to enter and feel comfortable inside the facility
  • Peace of mind that proper cleaning is an ongoing management priority
Holston's Kitchen Catering
The Gatlinburg Convention & Visitors Bureau is happy and proud to announce that Holston’s Catering Kitchen Company is the new food and beverage provider for the Gatlinburg Convention Center. Holston’s took over the catering and concession duties in the convention center on April 1 st  and will provide all the meals, snacks, and beverages that hundreds of thousands of guests enjoy each year in the convention center.  

Holston’s Kitchen Catering Company, a division of KBS Restaurant Group, has been an East Tennessee staple for many years. KBS Restaurant Group encompasses two Holston’s Kitchen restaurant locations, three No Way Jose’s restaurant locations (one in Gatlinburg), world famous Crockett’s Breakfast Camp in Gatlinburg, The Greenbrier Restaurant in Gatlinburg, and Smith and Son Corner Kitchen, located right near the Gatlinburg Convention Center. Holston’s has been crafting innovative culinary creations for a vast array of corporate and social events throughout Tennessee for 20+ years. Led by its talented management team, Holston’s Kitchen Catering Company focuses on detailed planning, delicious food, and superb service.

Holston’s Kitchen Catering Company has a diverse variety of concepts, but the freshness of food is never compromised. Everything is made from scratch – from the biscuits to the salad dressings, everything starts with the freshest ingredients and are prepared daily in the convention center kitchens and the nearby KBS Restaurant Group Commissary. The staff of Holston’s Kitchen Catering Company is dedicated to the idea that getting the best ingredients means serving the best food, at a great value with great service. Holston’s Kitchen Catering Company is also dedicated to serving healthier options, and addressing dietary restrictions by offering vegan, vegetarian, keto, paleo and gluten sensitive options in their banquet and concession areas. If you have any specific needs or concerns, please let Holston’s know and they will gladly address them. 
We are proud to announce the arrival of Drover Rideshare to Gatlinburg. Drover Rideshare offers visitors a safe, eco-friendly, and economical way to travel throughout Gatlinburg and surrounding areas. Drover offers real time rideshare options, as well as pre-arranged transportation services. Simply download the Drover App or call to request a ride and a customer service representative will be happy to assist you. Drover has different ride options including Drover Quad for up to four passengers, Drover Crowd for up to 6 passengers, and Drover Themed rides. All payments are made using the app so there is no cash or guess work involved. 

To learn more visit or simply download the app!
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 12th. If you are interested in viewing earlier editions, please click GCVB Sales Quarterly Newsletter .