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Gatlinburg Inn reopens with new owners

4:42 PM, May 1, 2013   |    comments
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An historic East Tennessee inn is open once again, more than a year after the death of it's former owner.

The family of Rel and Wilma Maples reopened the Gatlinburg Inn Wednesday. 

"The Gatlinburg Inn was built in 1937. It had it's 76th birthday this year. Many famous people have stayed here over the years," said General Manager Gary Bailey.

Some call it a Gatlinburg icon, and frequent guests are charmed by the old fashioned comfort.

"It has a different look than your mainstream hotel. It looks like something that belongs in downtown Gatlinburg," said Logan Coykendall of Hospitality Solutions.

"This has that aura about it, of being in the mountains and being in this location," said guest Harry T. Sampson.

The hotel is most famous in Big Orange country for something that happened in one of the rooms more than four decades ago.

"This is the Rocky Top room, the infamous Rocky Top room.  This is where Boudleaux and Felice Bryant wrote Rocky Top in 1967. The room is pretty much the way it probably was when they wrote it. Our plans are, we're gonna update it a little bit, do some recovering, some new carpet," said Bailey.

And those aren't the only renovations on tap.  The owners plan to renovate the front lobby, adding a fireplace with comfortable seating, a new front desk, and shelves to display some local history.

"We're going to actually bring roses into the rooms, it's going to be part of our logo. It's going to be part of the experience here," said Bailey.

In the past, the inn was open seasonally, but the new owners will operate it year round. 


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