Theme park to open 1st US attraction at gateway to Smokies

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — In its quest to redefine tourism at the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains, The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has inked a deal to bring an international entertainment company to the United States for the first time.

Tribal Council and international theme park company Puy du Fou have signed a letter of intent to develop a new “spectacular immersive show” as part of a 200-acre development located at Exit 407 south of Interstate 40 on the way to the Smokies.

Tribal Council approved $75 million on May 4 for phase one development of “The 407: Gateway to Adventure.” Its leaders are seeking world-class attractions to appeal to the record-breaking crowds flocking to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.