Popular areas in the Smokey Mountains

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My wife and I are looking to buy our first property in the Smokey'. We have gotten some good feedback from our realtor and lender but I wanted to ask the folks on here the same question. What are some hot areas to look at in the Smokey's where you see high rental occupancy? Popular areas that people prefer to stay so they can experience everything the Smokey's has to offer.

Gatlinburg is king.  Unlike Pigeon Forge, etc., Gatlinburg borders the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  It has its own entrance to the National Park.  So Gatlinburg proper is the gold standard, but it is priced accordingly.  All of the others will say "but we are almost as good..."

Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Sevierville.  Wears Valley is really popping now too.  Wears Valley borders the GSMNP as well.  I think you will have  hard time beating those 3 locations though with anywhere else in the Smokies.

@Collin H. has his points about Gatlinburg, but there are plenty of people that feel just as strongly about Pigeon Forge.  

Really any of those 3 you can't go wrong.  It will all come down to the specific location in those given areas and amenities your cabin has to offer to drive the price higher but that whole area has been booming for a long long time with no end in sight.

I've heard you need to be within 15 minutes to Pigeon Forge or Downtown  Gatlinburg. 

I use the local Goat as my PF landmark to check driving time to a prospective property.

I'm actively looking for a 4 to 6 bedroom pool cabin in the area. 

You'll find that anything can make money and all will hit 85%-90%+ occupancy if run properly.

Rates vary based on proximity to town.  Views aren't necessarily a big thing to have.  Pools ARE a big thing to have.  Don't go north of downtown Sevierville or east of Cobbly Nob unless you have a deal or know what you're doing.  You can go as far west as Townsend if you find something nice enough.

Originally posted by @John Underwood :

I've heard you need to be within 15 minutes to Pigeon Forge or Downtown  Gatlinburg. 

I use the local Goat as my PF landmark to check driving time to a prospective property.

I'm actively looking for a 4 to 6 bedroom pool cabin in the area. 

 I have cabins that are 30 minutes from Gatlinburg that are cash machines.   Bought two small cabins in Cosby back in 2013 for $270K that are going to do around $76K this year...

@John Underwood Curious as to why the local goat? Our cabin is right near there, never been.

I have a current guest, pain in the *ss the first few days. Says he just bought a cabin in Gatlinburg and wants to buy ours. Wants me to send him my last two years P&L. No. Look at my rates and my occupancy. He knows what it’s worth. I can’t make better use of his money.

Originally posted by @Nancy Bachety :

@John Underwood Curious as to why the local goat? Our cabin is right near there, never been.

I have a current guest, pain in the *ss the first few days. Says he just bought a cabin in Gatlinburg and wants to buy ours. Wants me to send him my last two years P&L. No. Look at my rates and my occupancy. He knows what it’s worth. I can’t make better use of his money.

 The local goat is awesome.  They have a phenomenal pork chop that taste like a steak!

It’s called the renter’s triangle. The tip of the triangle is Sevierville. The right side is just east of Cobbly nob in Gatlinburg and the west is just south of Wears Valley. Bluff mountain area is in there as well. Cosby is decent too now. Anywhere you are less than 25mins to either PF or Gatlinburg and you’re golden. Gatlinburg is the top market but not by much. A Mountian view in my book is a must for longevity in the market and resale value. Ymmv