Largest Expansion Ever at Anakeesta is Underway

Largest Expansion Ever at Anakeesta is Underway

Photo courtesy of WVLT

The largest expansion ever at Anakeesta is underway with a development designed to bring the whole family together.

Sounds of construction erect some of the largest birdhouses you’ll ever find. This is Birdventure where you can play in the birdhouse or slide down the side.

“This facility is really supposed to get our guests playing with the whole family. So it’s so it’s not just for children. It’s not just for adults it’s for it’s for everyone to really reconnect and, you know, get that true smoky mountain experience,” said Bryce Bentz, President of Anakeesta.

For Anakeesta, it’s about staying true to the Smoky Mountains and the ecosystem of plants and animals found naturally here.

“So all of the birds are endemic to the area. So we wanted to have an opportunity to bring those characters to life and to really have our guests interact with them on a, you know, more more close level,” added Bentz.

The Hellbender Mountain coaster will take you down steep terrain with twists and turns.

“You start at the top and you you’re going down the mountain, it’s our second mountain coaster here at Anakeesta. And it’s themed after the hill bender, which is a salamander here in the great smoky mountains. So we’re using that as our storyline concept for it. So I think it’s gonna be a really great storyline for it,” said founder of Anakeesta Bob Bentz.

It’s a double rail coaster that’ll take you through tunnels, twists and turns with a 360 degree view of the scenic Smoky Mountains.

“Because again, we’re on the side of a mountain with all these very, very steep slopes. We’re really pushing the limits of this mountain coaster. It’s probably the steepest and sharpest bends you could possibly have. And again, in a very unique experience,”

And this is just the beginning of this $35 M expansion project that’ll create hundreds of jobs.

“This is phase one and the next couple of phases we will add additional retail stores, additional restaurants, some banquet facilities, and additional splashpad play areas in the center of the plaza,” said Bryce Bentz.

Phase one will open later this year with plans for phase two and three still being developed.

Story courtesy of WVLT