Posts Tagged ‘Outdoor Gravity Park’

Pigeon Forge Wins Seventh Emmy Award for “Home Alone” Commercial

PIGEON FORGE, Tennessee (February 2018) – A dog counting down the days until his family returns from a memory-filled Pigeon Forge vacation recently won the popular destination its seventh Emmy Award.

“Home Alone” is the title of the thirty-second TV commercial that took top honors in the Commercial Spot category. After staring longingly at a calendar posted on the fridge, the family dog moves to the sofa where he passes the time watching videos of the family’s previous Pigeon Forge vacations. Clips showcase a younger mom, dad, son and daughter, each enjoying the variety of Pigeon Forge attractions through the years, from go-karts to a dinner show to a roller coaster. Finally, the front door opens to reveal mom, dad and two teenagers having returned home from yet another Pigeon Forge vacation. See the commercial here.

Among the memories captured in the family’s Pigeon Forge vacation videos are the Outdoor Gravity Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, The Island, and Alcatraz East Crime Museum.

Pigeon Forge and its agency, bohan in Nashville, received the Emmy Award at the annual celebration of the Nashville/Midsouth Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences on Jan. 20.

This is the seventh time bohan commercials for Pigeon Forge have won what have been labeled “television’s highest honor.” Earlier Emmy Awards came in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2014, 2015 and 2017.

“Our Home Alone spot tugs at your heartstrings, not only because the dog is anxious for his family’s homecoming but mostly because it puts our vacation memories front and center,” said Leon Downey, executive director of the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism. “And memories are one of the most precious keepsakes folks take home from Pigeon Forge.”

“Having worked with bohan for 27 years, the agency understands that tourism is the lifeblood of Pigeon Forge,” Downey added. “Bohan continues to find fresh ways to showcase all that our family-friendly destination has to offer.”

Bohan, which has marketed Pigeon Forge since 1990, has won at least one Emmy Award in 13 of the last 14 years.


Photo of Emmy Award presentation available here:

Pictured left to right: Bohan’s Account Supervisor Tony Gerstner, Executive Director of the Pigeon Forge Dept. of Tourism Leon Downey, Pigeon Forge Dept. of Tourism’s Marketing Manager Sue Carr, and bohan’s Sr. Vice President/Managing Director Brian Gilpatrick.



Trish McGee



Dollywood Foundation pledges at least $3 million from My People Fund to the Mountain Tough Recovery Team  

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (Friday, May 5, 2017) – The Dollywood Foundation administered the final distribution from the My People Fund on Thursday with recipients noticing an extra surprise when they received the check.

Thanks to fundraising efforts, Dollywood Foundation officials were able to provide a $5,000 check to each family as they work to recover from the Smoky Mountain wildfires which occurred last November. Beginning last December, the My People Fund provided $1,000 each month to Sevier County families whose primary residences were completely destroyed due to the fires.

In total, recipients received $10,000 as a hand-up to help start their rebuilding efforts following the fire. The fund, which was established by Dolly Parton, The Dollywood Company, Parton’s dinner theaters and The Dollywood Foundation, was supported by contributions from across the country, as well as donations made through the Smoky Mountains Rise telethon which took place in early December.

“The My People Fund has been a great success,” said Parton. “I want to thank my team, the Dollywood Foundation, my friends in the music business and the thousands of people from all over the country who opened both their pocketbooks and their hearts to help us.

“Over the last five months, we’ve given nearly 900 families $5,000 to help them recover. Yesterday, we had our last distribution and I went over to The LeConte Center to say thanks to all the volunteers and to help give out a few checks myself. We matched what they’ve received already with another $5,000 check. I know $10,000 can’t solve everything, but I do hope the money will help them to dream again.”

In addition to providing initial monetary support to displaced families through the monthly check distribution, the remaining funds from the My People Fund will continue to help the people of Sevier County. At least $3 million will be contributed to the Mountain Tough Recovery Team which will serve the continuing needs of residents during the critical rebuilding period ahead. This program will begin helping families on June 1.

“We’re still receiving money, so we aren’t finished yet,” Parton added. “Recovery will take some time, so a new organization—called Mountain Tough—has been created to help our people get back on their feet for the next three years. We’re giving at least $3 million to help this new organization begin the next chapter of our journey.”

Mountain Tough assists individuals and families recovering from the wildfires by providing resources for the unmet needs of low-income families and individuals in Gatlinburg and the surrounding Sevier County area. The team seeks to restore the quality of life and provide for the long-term needs of those affected.

“Mountain Tough will help pick up where the My People Fund left off,” Dollywood Foundation President David Dotson said. “They will be staffed with case managers who will work to identify the immediate needs of residents and our funds will be used to address those needs. For example, it may help with transportation so someone can continue to be employed, or it may help with medicine for conditions caused by the fire. The case managers will coordinate with county agencies to ensure needed assistance is not duplicated and achieves its maximum impact.”

Anyone who wants to help the Mountain Tough Recovery Team with their efforts should visit for information on how to donate, how to volunteer and much more. The website is the official source for all information regarding the recovery effort.

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Dolly Parton is the most honored female country performer of all time. Achieving 25 RIAA certified gold, platinum and multi-platinum awards, she has had 25 songs reach #1 on the Billboard Country charts, a record for a female artist. She has 41 career top 10 country albums, a record for any artist, and she has 110 career-charted singles over the past 40 years. All-inclusive sales of singles, albums, hits collections, paid digital downloads and compilation usage during her Hall of Fame career have reportedly topped a staggering 100 million records.

She has garnered seven Grammy Awards, 10 Country Music Association Awards, five Academy of Country Music Awards, three American Music Awards and is one of only five female artists to win the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year Award.

In 1999 Parton was inducted as a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. She has her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and became a member of the National Academy of Popular Music Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2001. Broadcast Music honored Parton with their Icon Award in 2003, and in 2004 the U.S. Library of Congress presented her with their Living Legend Award for her contribution to the cultural heritage of the United States. This was followed in 2005 with the National Medal of Arts, the highest honor given by the U.S. government for excellence in the arts

Outdoor Gravity Park Earns 2016 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (May 2016) — Outdoor Gravity Park received a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence. Now in its sixth year, the achievement celebrates hospitality businesses that have earned great traveler reviews on TripAdvisor over the past year. Certificate of Excellence recipients include accommodations, eateries and attractions located all over the world that have continually delivered a quality customer experience.

“With the Certificate of Excellence, TripAdvisor honors hospitality businesses that have consistently received strong praise and ratings from travelers,” said Heather Leisman, Vice President of Industry Marketing, TripAdvisor. “This recognition helps travelers identify and book properties that regularly deliver great service. TripAdvisor is proud to play this integral role in helping travelers feel more confident in their booking decisions.”B13-Zorb-Smoky-Mountains

Recently the Outdoor Gravity Park opened a fourth track dubbed The FUNnel which allows two to three riders to splash and zig-zag down a 1,000-foot hill. It is the only park in the world that can boast of such a unique attraction, allowing Outdoor Gravity Park to cater to an even larger audience than before, and promises to be a summer hit. With the new TripAdvisor certificate of excellence in hand, the attraction is sure to be a staple in Pigeon Forge for years to come.

Contact:  Amanda Breeden,

About Outdoor Gravity Park

The Outdoor Gravity Park is home to the iconic New Zealand adventures, OGO.  The OGO is straight from New Zealand, this facility’s most famous attraction is zorbing. The ball is 11 feet high, 11 feet fat, and bouncy and sits perched at the top of a 1,000-foot hill. In a moment, you will go rolling towards the bottom, slip and sliding, no tumbling—but only after a couple of things happen. First, one to three people dive into the sphere’s belly. Then, some of the park’s attendants toss ten gallons of water into this signature attraction, and finally close the door. The water makes for a slippery ride, though one without tumbling–your fast and adrenaline-packed descent down our 1000-foot hill is more akin to a bouncy water slide or a rolling Jacuzzi.  Bring your swimsuit and towel and come join us as we are open rain or shine.

About TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor is the world’s largest travel site**, enabling travelers to plan and book the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers advice from millions of travelers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features with seamless links to booking tools that check hundreds of websites to find the best hotel prices. TripAdvisor branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, reaching 340 million unique monthly visitors***, and 350 million reviews and opinions covering 6.5 million accommodations, restaurants and attractions. The sites operate in 48 markets worldwide.

TripAdvisor, Inc. (NASDAQ:TRIP), through its subsidiaries, manages and operates websites under 24 other travel media brands:,,,,,, (including,,, and,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and

**Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, worldwide, February 2016

***Source: TripAdvisor log files, Q1 2016



Outdoor Gravity Park introduces dry zorbing to Pigeon Forge; New Zealand is only other location for new downhill adventure

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (Nov. 4, 2015) – Outdoor Gravity Park, one of Pigeon Forge’s newest family fun attractions, is adding dry zorbing with a new invention called DRYGO.  There are only two locations in the world with DRYGO, New Zealand and Pigeon Forge.

It's a fast roll in a DRYGO at Outdoor Gravity Park. (Photo: Jessica Ellison)

It’s a fast roll in a DRYGO at Outdoor Gravity Park. (Photo: Jessica Ellison)

The DRYGO is made up of three plastic spheres, one inside the other. The largest one is 11 feet in diameter. The middle sphere contains a cushion of water, and the smallest sphere slides around on the water layer. One, two or three passengers make Superman-like dives into the inner sphere and stay totally dry as they roll down a steep 1,000-foot-long hill. The passengers slip and slide without any tumbling in their own little universe as the smallest sphere spins inside the middle sphere.

A DRYGO ride ends dry and happy. (Photo: Jessica Ellison)

A DRYGO ride ends dry and happy. (Photo: Jessica Ellison)

“The DRYGO is our latest invention. We will be offer dry zorbing — or as we sometimes call it, dry sliding — on colder days through fall and winter. We are excited to bring our invention from New Zealand to the United States so we can deliver a unique experience to our customers,” said Chris Roberts, an owner and mechanical engineer.

Besides offering dry zorbing in the DRYGO, Outdoor Gravity Park will continue to offer its marquee attraction, H2OGO zorbing with warm water, where you slip, slide and get wet, still without any tumbling.

Outdoor Gravity Park is located on the former Zorb Smoky Mountains site, just off the Parkway in Pigeon Forge at Traffic Light #1. Head east for 0.4 miles to 203 Sugar Hollow Road. More information go online at, and visit us on Facebook.



Courtney Allred:

Megan Hazelwood:

Outdoor Gravity Park

203 Sugar Hollow Road

Pigeon Forge, TN 37863



Pigeon Forge Tourism Director Willingly Gets Soaked for Business Opening

PIGEON FORGE, Tennessee (May 2015) – Grand openings for businesses sometimes aren’t all that grand, but that wasn’t the case when the Outdoor Gravity Park opened in Pigeon Forge.

Yes, there was a ribbon cutting that involved the mayor, but the big event came when the tourism director came roaring down a hill inside an 11-foot-tall plastic sphere, formally known as an Outdoor Gravity Orb, or OGO.

Up to three people climb inside an OGO before it rolls down a steep 1,000-foot-long path. About 20 gallons of water inside the OGO make for a slippery and unpredictable descent.

Leon Downey, the executive director of the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism, rode solo and carried a video camera to record the event. His trip made the news on two Knoxville TV stations, and it was his laughter as much as the video that amused everyone.

“That’s a hoot. It’s like being inside a giant washing machine,” said a dripping Downey.

There are five OGO routes down the hill, which has a 12 percent grade. Two of the routes are straightaways, and three are zigzag paths.

Outdoor Gravity Park also features the spinning-in-place Fishpipe attraction. Other attractions are planned later this year. Itis just off the Parkway in Pigeon Forge at Traffic Light #1. Online information is at

Information about all aspects of Pigeon Forge, both wet and dry, is available online at or by calling 800-259-9100



Tom Adkinson




Outdoor Gravity Park on a Roll in Pigeon Forge

 PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (April 9, 2015) – Pigeon Forge’s newest attraction offers two wet and slippery attractions and one dry activity, and it plans to add two more adventures this summer.

It is Outdoor Gravity Park, a new business on the former Zorb site that features the New Zealand iconic OGO adventure and the spinning-in-place Fishpipe.

Fishpipe at Outdoor Gravity Park

Fishpipe at Outdoor Gravity Park

The OGO is a plastic sphere 11 feet in diameter, with a smaller sphere inside. One, two or three passengers make a Superman-like dive into the inner sphere, get doused with water (that’s the slippery part) and then roll down a steep 1,000-foot-long hill. Slip! Slide! Get Wet! No tumbling!

Outdoor Gravity Park has carved five OGO routes down the hill. Two of the routes are straightaways, and three are zigzag routes.

Riders wanting a completely different experience enter a special OGO with harness seating and take a revolving roll down the hill.

The Fishpipe is a totally new attraction – a rotating barrel water slide. The barrel is made of plastic and is suspended in a steel frame.

Passengers can go solo, duo or trio and Slip! Slide! Get Wet! You will cover more distance than any lateral water slide.

An electric motor spins the barrel at up to 45 revolutions per minute. At a moderate speed, riders slide for three-fourths of a mile. At full speed, the ride is equivalent to a mile-long water slide. Slip! Slide! Get Wet! No tumbling!

“Our site is 17 acres, and we have plenty of room to grow. We plan to add two more attractions this summer. Rest assured that both will feature gravity and fun,” says Chris Roberts, an owner and mechanical engineer.

Outdoor Gravity Park is just off the Parkway in Pigeon Forge at Traffic Light #1. For more information, go online at and visit us on Facebook.



Sarah Beth Nelius:

Courtney Allred:


OGO on a roll

OGO on a roll