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Hotel Co-Owner from Ky Looks for Quick Gatlinburg Rebound

Gatlinburg Inn
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Credit Gatlinburg Inn
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A Kentucky man is thankful that fire damage to the oldest hotel in Gatlinburg is manageable. 

NOTICE:  This story underwent revision with updated fire fatality information

 Smokey Mountain Fires have led to death and destruction in and around Gatlinburg

David Cross, who lives in Albany in Clinton County, is co-owner of the inn which sits in the center of the parkway strip next to the sky lift. The Gatlinburg Inn opened its doors in 1937.

While the Smoky Mountain fires are responsible for at least seven deaths and damage to hundreds of homes and cabins, Cross said the core of downtown Gatlinburg is still largely intact.  “The fire department prioritized protecting the downtown area because they knew if it got into the downtown it would just be a disaster,” Cross said.

Still, he said, there will be a significant economic loss. 

“This was Christmas parade weekend.  This was one of the biggest weekends of the year,” he said. “They’ve had to cancel that.  There’s a big economic effect on losing business at Christmas time.”

Cross does anticipate a quick restart for many businesses including the Inn, which he says suffered only smoke damage. ​

Copyright 2016 WEKU

Stu Johnson is a reporter/producer at WEKU in Lexington, Kentucky.
Stu Johnson
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