Posts Tagged ‘Island in Pigeon Forge’

Visiting Pigeon Forge? 5 Things Everyone Should Know About Alcatraz East

PIGEON FORGE, Tennessee (May 23, 2017) – Each year, around 10 million people visit the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area. Whether vacationing with their children or enjoying time on their own, most are searching for unforgettable memories while visiting the area. One place that should be at the top of everyone’s list is Alcatraz East Crime Museum, a new attraction on the Parkway that provides both an educational and entertaining time, and includes information and activities for the whole family.

“We’ve had an amazing response since opening our doors in December,” states Janine Vaccarello, chief operating officer for Alcatraz East, “We have something for all ages, and most families spend 2-3 hours going through the exhibits. Guests walk away saying they knew they would love it, but it was better than expected, and that makes us feel very proud.”

While visitors to the area enjoy taking a hike in the Great Smoky Mountains while visiting this vacation destination, Alcatraz East offers a break from the outdoor activities. Here are 5 things everyone should know about Alcatraz East Crime Museum when visiting the Pigeon Forge area:

1   America’s Favorite Subject. With all the movies and TV shows related to the topic of crime, this is a must see. The museum features five themes that give visitors a glimpse into notorious crime history, forensic science, law enforcement, our justice system and pop culture. There are over 100 interactives throughout the museum, providing visitors with a hands-on experience.

2   It’s Not About Alcatraz. Although it’s part of the name and the famous prison inspired this attractionAlcatraz East is a crime museum, featuring an in depth look at American crime history, with artifacts from different eras and topics. The one-of-kind building was designed as a combination of Tennessee’s first state prison from 1898, and guard towers inspired by the Alcatraz lighthouse in California. The two-story building offers over 25,000 square feet of exhibit space.

3   One-of-a-Kind Artifacts. From white-collar crimes to Old West gunslingers, the museum features original artifacts from Jesse James to Whitey Bulger. Things to watch for include the famous O.J. Simpson chase white Bronco, John Dillinger’s death mask, Al Capone’s rosary, a submachine gun from the movie Scarface, Ted Bundy’s VW Beetle. Tennessee is well represented, with objects such as the Old Smoky electric chair and moonshine stills as well as notable Dr. William Bass, highlighting his achievements- which advanced forensic anthropology.

4   Interact with the Museum. Kids (and their parents) can have fun and learn at the same time through the museum’s Top Detective Challenge. Follow clues throughout the museum to solve the crime of a stolen artifact, and receive a prize if you crack the case! There is also an opportunity for parents and kids to enjoy the thrill of The Heist Laser Maze (think Thomas Crown Affair!).

5   Temporary Exhibits. Beginning mid-May, Alcatraz East debuted the first of its temporary exhibit programs, which will be an annual rotation in two areas of the museum. Through April 2018, “Ivory, Tortoise Shell & Fur: The Ugly Truth About Wildlife Trafficking will reveal how endangered species are effected by poaching and what the public can do to help end the practice.

“Every year, families make lifetime memories here in the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge area,” states Vaccarello, “We are happy to now be a part of those memories, giving them a look at history, crime prevention, while having an interactive experience.”

Alcatraz East officially opened December 16, 2016. The new crime museum is located at the entrance to The Island, at 2757 Parkway in Pigeon Forge, near the Margaritaville Hotel and Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen.

The 25,000-square-foot museum is designed with a jail façade, has a star-studded board of experts who make up the Advisory Board, including Jim Willett, a retired prison warden, Anthony Rivera, a combat veteran and Navy SEAL chief, and Judge Belvin Perry, Jr., who is best known for the Casey Anthony trial.

General admission tickets are $14.95 for children, $24.95 for adults. Group ticket sales are available. The museum will be open 365 days per year, from 10 am to 9 pm, with the last ticket sold 60 minutes before closing. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit:

About Alcatraz East

Alcatraz East is the most arresting crime museum in the United States. Guests encounter a unique journey into the history of American crime, crime solving, and our justice system. Through interactive exhibits and original artifacts, Alcatraz East is an entertaining and educational experience for all ages – so much fun it’s a crime! This family attraction will be located at the entrance of The Island, located at 2757 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN. For more information, visit

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Cher Murphy


St. Somewhere Spa Opens at Margaritaville Island Hotel in Pigeon Forge

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (July 2015) – There’s an island-inspired spa experience in the Great Smoky Mountains with this summer’s opening of the St. Somewhere Spa inside the Margaritaville Island Hotel on The Island – Pigeon Forge’s new shopping, dining and entertainment district.

The 5,200-square-foot luxury spa  offers hotel guests and local visitors many ways to experience “Mountain Latitude, Island Attitude” with pampering services including facials, massages, body treatments, manicures, pedicures, spray tanning and a hair salon.

St. Somewhere Spa manager Pam McKay is working with the hotel to create some specialty services and spa packages.

“We are coordinating bridal packages and have already rolled out a great August weekday spa package that incorporates a $100 spa credit for each night of stay,” McKay said. “The package is available Sunday through Thursday throughout August, and you can tailor it to any length of stay.”

The spa is the latest addition to Margaritaville Island Hotel, which opened in October 2014.  The hotel wraps around The Island, providing guests with views of The Island Show Fountains, the 200-foot-tall Great Smoky Mountain Wheel and a wide variety of eateries, bars and retail shops.

The St. Somewhere Spa follows the opening of the hotel’s Changes in Latitude lobby bar and the rooftop pool and Chill Bar. The hotel also completed the Compass Rose Room this spring, which offers a 3,200-square-foot facility for weddings, banquets and meetings for up to 200 attendees in addition to a 2,500-square-foot riverfront terrace.

“We are excited to offer a unique experience to Pigeon Forge visitors,” said hotel general manager Kris Harmon. “Guests find everything they want within steps of the hotel, from dining and entertainment to shopping and now island-inspired relaxation with a world-class spa experience.”

The St. Somewhere Spa is open daily to hotel guests, as well as to visitors and area residents. Spa appointments are available by calling (865) 280-6200, and room reservations, a spa menu and spa package information are available by calling (844) 4-Fins Up or by visiting the hotel website,



Renie Carroll, Director of Marketing (865) 774-2300,


Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen to Open at Island in Pigeon Forge

Dining/retail project to join Margaritaville, Dollywood resort, event center in city

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (Feb 27, 2014) – Paula Deen Ventures has announced it will open Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen, a restaurant and retail operation, at the Island in Pigeon Forge, a mixed-use development in the heart of Pigeon Forge.

It has a projected design, construction and yearly operation budget of nearly $20 million and will occupy a 20,000-square-foot building. Opening is planned for late summer 2014.

“This is yet another major investment in Pigeon Forge tourism,” said Leon Downey, executive director of the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism.

“Other recent announcements include Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Island Hotel and Restaurant and the DreamMore Resort at Dollywood. Also, the city opened its $45 million LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge last October,” he said.

Darby Campbell and Bob McManus, developers of The Island in Pigeon Forge, have partnered with Paula Deen Ventures on the Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen project.

“We can develop Paula Deen retail and restaurants that capture the imagination of Paula’s massive fan base and Pigeon Forge’s huge tourist community,” Campbell said.

Pigeon Forge, with a resident population of about 6,400, welcomes more than 10 million visitors a year. More than 2.5 million of them stay overnight.

“One of Pigeon Forge’s fundamental appeals is that every year brings new reasons to visit. Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen is carrying on a great tradition of growth for Pigeon Forge,” Downey said.


Tom Adkinson, APR