Wilderness at the Smokies joins list of Sevier Co. businesses building employee dorms

The waterpark resort is the next to join a growing trend to address major affordable housing shortfalls for workers in the area.

Wilderness at the Smokies is the latest to announce it's building employee housing as more Sevier County businesses adopt similar plans to address affordable housing shortfalls in the booming tourist districts of the Smoky Mountains.

The City of Sevierville approved the waterpark resort's proposal to build two dorms to house employees near their property on Gists Creek Road.

According to the resort's ownership group, Wilderness Resort and Waterparks, the dorms will have 70 apartment-style rooms with a bathroom and shower in each room. Each dorm will be able to house 270 employees.

The dorms will also have a large common area and kitchen for employees to use.

The dorms have an anticipated completion date of May 2020.

A county-commissioned study showed a need for 1,500 to 2,000 affordable units by 2020. Crews have been breaking ground on many projects that will bring the county closer to meeting the need, but the county is also turning to businesses to help address that need.

In April, a new luxury resort in Pigeon Forge slated for a Summer 2021 opening announced it would be building 500 housing units for its workers on site.

Pigeon Forge's Mayor David Wear showed enthusiasm for the idea, and many say it will likely be a growing trend to attract more workers to the area.

Source: WBIR

The East Tennessee Economic Development Agency markets and recruits business for the 15 counties in the greater Knoxville-Oak Ridge region of East Tennessee. Visit www.eteda.org

Published May 31, 2019