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Mayor: Pigeon Forge in best economic shape in town's history

6:52 PM, Feb 19, 2013   |    comments
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Pigeon Forge Mayor David Wear is expected to announce record sales tax revenues numbers Thursday, helping shape "the best year yet" for the Sevier County town.

"When we release these numbers on Thursday (State of the City address), I can't help but smile because of what we're going to share with folks," the mayor said.

The reasoning mostly goes down to an increase in visitor spending. Mayor Wear said despite not hitting a record year in attendance, with more than 9 million people coming to town, it was the sales tax revenues that saw tremendous growth.

"We had more spending, because Pigeon Forge and business development and as the town grows, we see more dollars spent per person," the mayor added.

He said this means no layoffs in city government, new equipment for the police and fire departments, and reassurance for other attractions to come forward. That includes the former Belle Island development, which is advertising a spring 2013 launch as "The Island."

"Invest in our civic and community services at a higher level. It also allows us to invest back into our community, which helps business development. It's almost a cycle," he said.

Mayor Wear added the upcoming "liquor by the drink" vote would add even more tax revenue for the city. It is up for vote in March.

"There are developments that we know about that are waiting to see how this vote goes. We are committed to business development, whether it passes or fails," he added.

The mayor stressed if the vote fails, the town will still be okay economically.

The "State of the City" address is scheduled for Thursday at 11:00 a.m.

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