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‘The 407: Gateway to Adventure’ planned for the Great Smokey Mountains

by Susan and Simon Veness

“The 407: Gateway to Adventure” district will bring new shows and immersive experiences to Sevierville, Tenn., anchored by European entertainment company Puy du Fou.

the 407 gateway to adventure gets new shows
Photo by Boussoul magique

In a collaboration between the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians (EBCI) Tribal Council and story-focused company Puy du Fou, $75 million has been approved for phase one of the project, slated to open in 2024.

“We are excited to take the first steps toward developing this world-class attraction that will help support our nation economically while creating a new platform to share dimensions of Cherokee history many have never heard,” said Chairman of the Tribal Council, Richard French.

Puy du Fou’s flagship theme park, located in France, attracts more than 2.3 million visitors each year due to its multiple shows, period villages, and on-site resorts, and now they company is focused on bringing story-based shows to the United States.

dancers
Photo by Puy du Fou

“With funding for the project secured, we now focus on the agreements with the development’s stakeholders, including local governments, to ensure this project and the area can support this world-class attraction,” said Matthew Cross, CEO of OE Experiences. “This represents an amazing opportunity for two communities, locally and within the EBCI, to be proud of a destination on the cutting edge of the experience economy.”

Puy du Fou plans to engage visitors through history-based stories about the Cherokee and their heroism in World War One, via a walk-through, immersive show.

The company is expected to anchor “The 407: Gateway to Adventure” project, which is owned and operated by Kituwah, LLC, a wholly-owned business subsidiary of the EBCI.

“Puy du Fou is known around the world for transporting guests back in time to feel first-hand the excitement and drama of historical moments,” said Richard Sneed, principal chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. “This unique attraction promises to be a one-of-a-kind experience that will make The 407 truly the ‘Gateway to Adventure.’”

Buc-ee’s Family Travel Centers have announced they will build their largest center at The 407, and more hotels, restaurants, retail, and other attractions are expected to follow in late 2022.

For more information visit PuyDuFou.com.

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