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Another Chondola Coming to the Smoky Mountains

Developers Mark and Lisa Williford today announced construction of SkyLand Ranch, an entertainment and shopping complex in Sevierville, Tennessee. The $40 million project includes an aerial lift with both chairs and gondolas, a mountain coaster, suspension bridge, zip lines, and shopping. The park will be set on a 100 acre ranch across the street from one of the South’s largest outlet malls. “SkyLand Ranch has been a dream of our family for over 10 years,” said Lisa Williford, owner of SkyLand Ranch and two nearby Rowdy Bear Adventure Parks. “The idea is to form a destination that tells a story of life on the ranch with a spark of amusement, festivals, shopping, dining, and leisure. The Five Oaks area already has outstanding lodging, dining and shopping with the Tanger Outlets — and amusement and recreation is the only thing missing from this area of Sevierville.”

Those who’ve visited eastern Tennessee know the Gatlinburg region’s seemingly limitless entertainment and recreation demand. Boyne Resorts opened Gatlinburg’s original chairlift attraction back in 1954 and the Smoky Mountains’ first ski area/amusement park followed with a tram and four chairlifts in the decades after. Anakeesta came on scene with the region’s first gondola in 2017 and The Hawk Skylift opened on Harper Brothers Mountain just this past summer. A ninth lift was set to open at Pigeon Forge Snow in 2020, although that project was shelved due to the coronavirus pandemic.

SkyLand Ranch construction is already underway and the park is set to open in Spring 2022. A manufacturer for the new combination lift was not announced.