Ship-Shaped Museum/Attraction Targets Spring 2010 Launch
The keel is being laid for Titanic Pigeon Forge, a towering ship-shaped museum/attraction devoted to the world’s best-known ocean liner.
Christening of the 30, 000-square-foot structure that will resemble the romantic cruise ship will be in the spring of 2010. It is a $25 million project of Cedar Bay Entertainment, which also is the parent company of the first Titanic Museum Attraction in Branson, Mo.
Titanic Pigeon Forge (TitanicPigeonForge.com) will open a little more than a year after the opening of another major tourism investment in Pigeon Forge, the $114 million Belle Island Village mixed-used development that will begin serving guests this winter.
“Home port” for Titanic Pigeon Forge is a 5.69-acre site on the Parkway near the Black Bear Jamboree, the Miracle Theater and WonderWorks on the north end of Pigeon Forge. The city is a gateway community to Great Smoky Mountains National Park and attracts more than 11 million visitors a year.
“Constant change and growth are Pigeon Forge’s greatest assets, ” said John Joslyn, president of Cedar Bay Entertainment. “Visitors have always enjoyed many reasons to return to the area, and Titanic Pigeon Forge will easily become yet another reason to stop, shop and be entertained and enlightened.”
Joslyn’s interest in the Titanic began as a producer of television specials, and he has been to the bottom of the North Atlantic to see the actual Titanic while working on specials about the “unsinkable” vessel.
The attraction will display hundreds of priceless Titanic artifacts in 20 galleries on two decks that will also contain exact replicas of the “Grand Staircase, ” a first-class suite, a third-class cabin and the Marconi wireless room. The bridge will offer interactive features similar to those of its Branson sister ship.
Each visitor will receive a boarding pass bearing the name of a real Titanic passenger or crew member and will be able to touch an iceberg, experience the chill of 28-degree water, sit in an actual life boat, “steer” the ship and send an SOS message.
“Titanic Pigeon Forge will be a welcome addition to our city’s list of quality attractions, ” said Pigeon Forge City Manager Earlene Teaster, noting that it will complement Dollywood, Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede, WonderWorks, Belle Island Village, more than a dozen theaters, the Old Mill, Walden’s Landing and several outlet shopping malls.
Citizens National Bank has taken a leadership role in financing with the support of USDA Rural Development. Bob Fleming, president of Idletime is the creative director of the project; Butler, Rosenbury & Partners, Inc. is the architectural and engineering firm; and Turner Construction Co. is the contractor.
Cedar Bay Entertainment is a privately owned entertainment and development company headquartered in Branson. Its Titanic attraction there opened in 2006 and welcomed more than a million guests in its first two years.
A Tennessee connection to the Titanic . . . Of the wealthy first-class American passengers on the Titanic, the Carter family had deep Tennessee roots. Billy and Lucile Carter were on board with their two children, Lucile, 14, and William, 11. The family was prominent in Philadelphia society and entertained lavishly at residences in Bryn Mawr, Pa., and Newport, R.I.
Lucile Polk Carter’s Southern lineage was rich with history. Her mother, Lou Ellen Hought Anderson, was born in 1844 in Clarksville, Tenn., where the family stayed until Lucile’s grandfather died in 1876. Her paternal grandfather, David Peale Polk, was the full third cousin of James K. Polk, the 11th president of the U.S., making her “Young Hickory’s” third cousin twice removed. To honor Lucile and her family’s Tennessee heritage, Titanic Tennessee will dedicate a first-class suite to the Polk-Carter family.
Renderings of Titanic Pigeon Forge are at TitanicPigeonForge.com, and details of Titanic Branson are at TitanicBranson.com. Information about all aspects of Pigeon Forge is available online at MyPigeonForge.com or toll-free at 1-800-251-9100.