Wet weather hurts and helps Pigeon Forge businesses

11:31 PM, Jul 27, 2013   |    comments
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Co-owner of The Comedy Barn, Jim Hedrick, says the rain has helped attendance.

(WBIR - Pigeon Forge) Some scattered storms hit East Tennessee on Saturday, including a major area for tourism.

Several businesses in Pigeon Forge rely on the sun, while others thrive from the lack of it.

"It's been a bit slower this year," said Joshua Hopper, with GNY Marketing. Hopper spends his days outside at a booth talking to visitors about Westgate Resorts.

"So far this summer it has been wet. It's been killing us because people don't spend as much time outdoors when it's raining. Everybody's in their cabins or doing something indoors , whereas we're outdoors. Most of our booths are outdoors and it kills us out here," Hopper said.

But a wet summer has helped indoor entertainment, like The Comedy Barn. Saturday's 5 o'clock show was almost sold out.

"The more it rains, the more people tend to come inside. It's always fun and exciting. As a matter of fact, there's been days where it's been kind of slow and I've asked the staff to do a rain dance," said Jim Hedrick, co-owner of The Comedy Barn.

Several businesses said the rain may hold off tourists during the week but, rain or shine, the weekends are usually packed.

"It's been different but we don't slow down at all. People will ride go-karts all day long so it doesn't really matter," said Kelsea Rognerud, who works the shaved ice stand at Fast Tracks.

Hopper included, "You know last year it was bumper to bumper almost every day whereas this week you have little spurts of a lot more traffic than others."

Hopper gives out free show tickets to people who come to his booth and talk to him about whatever business his company is promoting. He said right now the indoor tickets have been popular.

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