Anakeesta held a groundbreaking ceremony on Monday to mark the beginning of construction on its Chondola base station and retail area on the Gatlinburg Parkway across from Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies.
Anakeesta is building a 72-acre attraction in Gatlinburg that will offer tree top activities for guests of all ages. Currently under construction is an aerial lift called a Chondola that will transport guests on a 12-minute scenic ride from the Parkway to Anakeesta Mountain.
Located adjacent to the Chondola will be Georgia based retailer Savannah Bee Company. Savannah Bee is home to the world’s finest honey and naturally luxurious health & beauty products. Savannah Bee Company has 4 locations in Georgia, 1 in Florida and 2 in South Carolina.
The Chondola, built by Leitner-Poma of America, is the first of its kind in North America. Anakeesta guests can choose either an open-air ride in a quad chairlift or an enclosed ride in a six-person gondola cabin. Both offer incredible scenic views on the way to Anakeesta Mountain.
Upon arriving at the summit guests will enjoy shopping or dining at the tree house themed Firefly Village, walking the 20 bridge spans of the tree top canopy walk, exploring the birds of prey exhibit, riding a single rail mountain coaster or dual racing zip line and families will enjoy the playground designed for treehouse adventure.
Anakeesta is slated to open this summer. For more information and construction updates visit www.anakeesta.com.
Left to Right Front:
Mark Adams, President & CEO Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau
Cindy Ogle, Gatlinburg City Manager
Karen Bentz, Partner Anakeesta
Mike Werner, Gatlinburg Mayor
Nick Thompson, CLIMBWorks Owner and Anakeesta Partner
Bob Bentz, Managing Partner, Anakeesta
Michele Canney, Partner and Marketing Director Anakeesta
Left to Right Rear:
Dan Booth, Gatlinburg CVB/Chamber Chair
Mark McCown, Asst. Vice Mayor Gatlinburg
David Verble, President CNB
Dave Jones, East Tennessee Regional Manager TN State Tourism Department
Mike Smelcer, SRA Architects Owner
Alex Davis, President D&S Builders
Bryce Bentz, Project Manager Anakeesta
Bruce Cantrell, Site Engineer Anakeesta
Bill May, Executive Director Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts
Jay DeFoe, Project Architect, Trotter and Associates