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(WBIR-Pigeon Forge) Three major names will call Pigeon Forge home by the end of the summer.

Hard Rock Cafe already opened on the Parkway; Margaritaville and Paula Deen's restaurant are slated for a 2014 opening at the Island at Pigeon Forge.

"It just totally exceeded my expectations," Tom Horne with the Island at Pigeon Forge said Thursday.

The locale will be open one year in June, and already is 50 percent completed. The location has come a long way since construction at what was then called "Belle Island" started in 2008.

"We hope to have the majority of the whole project finished by this coming December," Horne added.

City leaders said the area is catching up, economically speaking, following the recession.

"It happens every year but I think we position ourselves well as a community and as a business," said mayor David Wear.

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