Largest expansion ever planned for Wilderness at the Smokies

40,000 square feet of space will be introduced to the indoor water park, along with new activities for families.
A new three-story water coaster is just one thing that will be coming to the resort.
Published: Sep. 15, 2022 at 12:29 PM CDT
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SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - A business that’s Sevierville’s largest tax contributor is planning a new $40 million investment that is set to open next year.

Wilderness at the Smokies plans to add new rooms and expand its indoor water park area.

40,000 square feet of space will be introduced to the indoor water park along with new activities for the families. The water park plans to add a three story water coaster called Switchback Mountain. There’s also a lazy river and a new rooftop pool called Lookout Lagoon.

Lookout Lagoon, a roof top pool with a glass edge.
Lookout Lagoon, a roof top pool with a glass edge.(Wilderness at the Smokies)

It’s the state’s largest indoor water park and company leaders say they’re adding new rooms as well to keep up with demand.

“This is our 15th year for Wilderness at the Smokies and with that we wanted to do everything we could to provide for the guest experience,” said Peter Tennis, with Wilderness at the Smokies. “Like much of Sevier County we’re seeing an up-tick in demand. We’ve had high occupancy the past couple of years and we would really like to offer something new to our guests.

In addition to the waterpark expansion, the resort is adding an indoor suspended Cloud Coaster to its Adventure Forest.

Sevierville Chamber of Commerce CEO, Brenda McCroskey, said this is huge for Sevierville as Wilderness is the largest hospitality tax collector for the city.

“Wilderness has continued to be a great partner for Sevierville. An additional $40 million means more tax revenue,” said McCroskey. “Wilderness has contributed for the last 14 years and this will add to our tax base, we’ll have more tourists that hear about Wilderness.”

Switchback Mountain, a three-story water coaster featuring three steep drops, uphill blasts,...
Switchback Mountain, a three-story water coaster featuring three steep drops, uphill blasts, high speeds and the premier of the world’s first slide with Reverse AquaLucent effects with colorful, spellbinding patterns.(Kyle Grainger, WVLT)

The project is expected to be completed by the fall of next year. This becomes the largest expansion in the resort’s history.

An eight-person XD theater will also be added to the Adventure Forest. The theater will offer an unparalleled, multi-sensory, immersive experience by combining 3D stereoscopic graphics with visual effects. It will be completed in fall 2022.

Finally, the resort is building 12 three-bedroom villas which sleep up to 12 people and are more than 2,600 square feet that will be available to rent starting in early 2023. Each unit will be fully furnished and include an electric fireplace, game room with pool table and view overlooking Sevierville Golf Course.

Construction has already started on Wilderness at the Smokies new addition.
Construction has already started on Wilderness at the Smokies new addition.(Kyle Grainger, WVLT)