SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. — Local, regional and national sporting events are flocking to the new Wilderness at the Smokies resort in Sevierville, Tenn. Within a one-day drive for 75 percent of the Eastern U.S. population, Wilderness at the Smokies resort provides a perfect year-round location for sporting events large and small and is quickly becoming a favorite of sporting event organizers.
Last weekend, Knoxville-based K2 Volleyball hosted its first-annual “K2 Wilderness at the Smokies Volleyball Tournament. More than 1,400 elite athletes and more than 6,000 guests, fans and spectators turned out for the competition that featured the best volleyball teams from all over the Eastern U.S.
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Part of Wilderness’ draw for sporting competitions is that the resort has so much to offer athletes when they aren’t actively competing. With three waterparks (including a five-acre indoor waterpark), a championship golf course, arcades, six on-property restaurants and countless other amenities, athletes and their guests stay entertained without having to travel outside the resort. For those who do venture off-property, the hundreds of local attractions in the Smoky Mountain Region offer plenty of choices.
“My daughters are competing in the K2 Wilderness at the Smokies Volleyball Tournament,” said Scott Hames, a parent and coach. “Right now, they are down at the indoor waterpark – and they are somewhat disappointed that they’re going to have to come up here to compete in a few hours. They could play at the waterpark all day.”
Wilderness at the Smokies has hosted major national youth sporting events including gymnastics competitions, cheerleading competitions, basketball, karate, volleyball, BMX Biking and power tumbling. TAnother recent major sporting event at Wilderness at the Smokies was the Smoky Mountain Gymnastics Vacation Classic which took place over a four-day period. There were nearly 7,000 attendees at the Smoky Mountain Gymnastics Vacation Classic.
“Wilderness at the Smokies resort is extremely focused on meeting the needs of sporting event planners and coordinators,” said Steve Cruz, Director of Sales and Marketing for Wilderness at the Smokies. “We have invested in state-of-the-art athletic flooring for the 200,000 square-foot event center adjacent to our resort, and we can comfortably host very large volleyball, basketball, gymnastics and tennis events along with many other indoor sports.”
“Because we have hosted a variety of different athletic events, we know what is important to event planners and coordinators. Our primary goal is to make their job as easy as possible and to enhance the overall experience of their guests. There simply aren’t many venues that allow athletes and spectators to watch a competition and then play in a five-acre indoor waterpark ten minutes later without ever leaving the property. Wilderness at the Smokies is quickly being recognized as the Southeast’s premier year-round athletic venue.”
To assist with the setup for sporting events, Wilderness at the Smokies has its own sports court flooring and can provide up to 20 volleyball courts and nets or, if the sport is basketball, five sets of basketball hoops.
Attached to the 200,000 square-foot Sevierville Event Center, Wilderness at the Smokies offers nearly 1,000 mountain modern guest rooms and multi-room suites in addition to condominiums and a Wyndham Vacation Resort on the Wilderness property.
Wilderness resort works regularly with large youth groups (church groups, athletic groups, youth conferences and conventions). With restaurants, gift shops, convenience stores, game rooms, mini-golf, lounges, a deli, two outdoor waterparks and a five-acre indoor waterpark, it isn’t necessary to leave the 700-acre resort. Coaches, athletes and spectators can even get to/from the event center without ever going outside – making Wilderness at the Smokies one of the Southeast’s only year-round destinations for sporting events.
While staying at Wilderness at the Smokies resort, guests can swim, surf and splash in the waves in 84-degree weather all year because of the five-acre indoor waterpark. Also, Wilderness at the Smokies has countless meeting rooms where teams and athletes can meet with coaches to prepare, go over strategy and review results before, during and after competitions.
When sports groups of any type are staying at Wilderness at the Smokies, the resort will arrange anything the group organizers request – including transportation to and from other locations for athletics, shopping or to take in the local attractions. Wilderness at the Smokies also partners with many of the local attractions like the new Titanic Museum Attraction, the Ripley’s Aquarium, Dixie Stampede, WonderWorks, Tanger Outlet Mall and other popular destinations to provide value pricing for athletes and their guests.
Wilderness at the Smokies packages rooms and meeting space as well as services (transportation, A/V equipment, etc.) to create a cost-effective overall approach for sporting event planners and organizers. Because Wilderness at the Smokies is so large and has so many events, organizers benefit from the volume of work Wilderness does with local suppliers and subcontractors that support large conferences, conventions and athletic events. Since guests at Wilderness at the Smokies never have to leave the resort, and transportation around the property is completely free for its guests, they can park their cars at Wilderness (free of charge) and not get in them again until it’s time to leave. Everything a guest could want in terms of family fun and R&R is available on the property.
Wilderness at the Smokies, located minutes from Interstate 40 and situated in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, is establishing a new standard for athletic competitions, conferences, conventions and meetings in East Tennessee. With two six restaurants, two 18-hole golf courses, two outdoor waterparks, an indoor waterpark with a wave pool and surf rider, hot tubs, and countless waterslides and attractions, Wilderness at the Smokies has something for all age groups. For more information about Wilderness at the Smokies, visit www.WildernessAtTheSmokies.com.