Volleyball tourney attracts thousands to Sevier Co.

12:40 AM, Jan 28, 2013   |    comments
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Thousands of athletes traveled to Sevier County this weekend to take part in a massive sporting event.

About 15,000 people are expected to have attended two volleyball tournaments in Sevierville this weekend and next weekend at the Wilderness at the Smokies Resort. The competition, which is organized by K2 Volleyball has been at the resort for 3 years.

K2 director Chris Hames said Sevier County has a lot to offer participants.

"Teams want to come here and experience something beside the volleyball," Hames said.

One-hundred and forty-five teams from states across the county attended the competition this weekend. Another 180 teams are expected to do the same next weekend.

Wilderness at the Smokies spokesperson Ryan Willis said its an event that pumps money into the local economy.

"During the winter here in the Smokies, it's not a great tourism season," Willis said. "So, we're able to bring in these groups and boost the economy here in the area because we have so much indoors [at Wilderness]."

One of the beneficiaries of this weekend's competition was Flapjack's restaurant in Sevierville. Manager Robert Maples agrees the winter is usually slow for tourism, but he said on Sunday his eatery saw a 25 percent increase in business mainly because of the competition.

"Normally we would [have] about 250 to 300 people and it looks like we're going to be in the 400 range," he said.

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