A major expansion is underway to the once-failed Island development in Pigeon Forge.
The possibility of millions of dollars in revenue and 250 jobs are coming as soon as this summer.
Wednesday Paula Deen announced she will open a family-style restaurant called Paula Deen's Family Kitchen.
This comes in addition to an earlier announcement of Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville restaurant. Wednesday developers, Bob McManus and Darby Campbell, shared details about a Margaritaville Hotel under construction on the property.
"Bob and I started the Island when the economy was at its worst," Campbell said.
The developer's company, LeConte Village, LLC, bought the development after the previous owner went bankrupt for $10 million.
"We're really excited about everything's that happened bringing us to this point, but this to me is one of the biggest things we could ever hope for," Campbell said.
"Paula has a tremendous fan base," McManus said. "I can think of no better fit of a restaurant concept than Paula Deen's comfort food for Pigeon Forge."
McManus said Deen's embattled past did not affect their decision to work with her.
"Paula certainly had challenges in the past years but we've gotten to know Paula and she is a warm, beautiful woman. She is as beautiful inside as she is outside. She's overcome challenges in her life and she'll overcome this. We're excited to be part of the future," McManus said.
Harrah's Casinos, the Food Network, and others ended their relationships with Deen after she admitted in a deposition to previously using the n-word.
The restaurant will be 20,000 square feet and has a projected design, construction, and yearly operation budget of nearly $20 million.
The Margaritaville Hotel will be the only 4-star hotel in the Pigeon Forge market. It will feature 132 rooms, a rooftop pool, and a blender in each room.
Retail shops will occupy the bottom floor of the hotel. Build-a-Bear, Old Smokey Mountain Distillery, and a candy shop plan have plans to open stores.
A section of the Island has already brought a big boost to the city. The city expects this expansion to bring even more jobs and increase their tax base.
"Tourism is our livelihood we have absolutely no other means of making a living here except within the tourism industry. And over the years it has grown tremendously," said Pigeon Forge city manager, Earlene Teaster.
A new convention center, a Hard Rock Cafe, and a $300 million expansion to Dollywood are also in the works in Pigeon Forge right now.
"It's a fun time to be in Pigeon Forge, an exciting time," Teaster said.
Growth is what developers say sold the celebrities on the location.
"It has been a pretty easy sell quite frankly," Campbell said.