Historic Gatlinburg Inn to Stay Open Under New Management

GatlinburgInnThe Gatlinburg Inn has an important spot in the history of Gatlinburg — it was the third major hotel to be built in Gatlinburg. It’s closed right now for renovations, but will open again on May 1 and stay open year-round, according to Local8Now.com.

The future of the inn has been in question since the December 2011 death of Wilma Cook Miller Maples, the widow of Rel Maples, who built the Inn on his family’s homestead in 1937. Recently, relatives of the two families (grandchildren of Rel and the Miller family) involved in building the inn have reached agreements for co-ownership. According to Local8Now:

The Inn has hosted countless celebrities, entertainers, artists, governors, senators, former presidents and first ladies, and in recent years has been a quiet haven of country charm in the town that borders the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the nation’s most popular.

The hotel was featured in the 1967 Ingrid Bergman movie, “A Walk in the Spring Rain,” and was the place where internationally honored songwriters Boudleaux and Felice Bryant wrote “Rocky Top,” which quickly became the theme song of the University of Tennessee. Many other prominent figures in the music and entertainment world have been guests at the Inn.

GatlinburgInn2Celebrities that have stayed at the Inn include: “Lady Bird” Johnson, J.C. Penney, Tennessee Ernie Ford, and Melville Bell Grosvenor (former editor of National Geographic).

The Inn also hosted the Gatlinburg city offices between 1946 and 1947. The Inn also once housed a dentist’s office and the first Gatlinburg newspaper.

The Inn still looks to its historic roots, and remains a quaint old-fashioned place to stay. Its homepage says the following: “Clean, quiet, and comfortable. … We look forward to hosting your visit this year.”

I’ve never stayed at the Gatlinburg Inn, but it does look cute and quaint. Kudos to the family members for finding a way to keep this historic landmark, by working through complex family situations.

The Inn will now be open year-round, and other updates are being finished now. It will now be managed by Hospitality Solutions of Sevierville, which operates other hotels in Galtinburg and Pigeon Forge.

The Gatlinburg Inn is located right downtown Gatlinburg, next to the Sky Lift. Free parking is a huge advantage! It has an average rating of 4 stars on TripAdvisor. Cost varies widely by season, but is about the same as other area hotels.

For now, the Inn remains quite old-fashioned about one thing — you still can’t book reservations online. To visit, call 865-436-5133.

Have you ever stayed at the Gatlinburg Inn? What did you think? Too old or full of history?

About Kendra