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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $4.1 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Support Recovery of the Tourism Sector in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is investing $4.1 million in the city of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee to support the recovery and growth of the local tourism economy. These grants are funded by the American Rescue Plan.

The EDA investments announced today are:

  • A $3.3 million grant to the city of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, for transportation infrastructure improvements in the cities of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Sevierville, and on U.S. 411 in Sevier County, to allow increased capacity for visitors traveling to the region’s recreational attractions and special events. The grant will also support development of a long-term tourism recovery plan. The EDA investment will be matched with $2 million in local funds.
  • A $774,600 grant to the city of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, to support development of a regional recovery strategy to plan resilience to future economic shocks. The EDA investment will be matched with $1.5 million in state and local funds.

“President Biden is dedicated to supporting communities across the country as they rebuild their travel and tourism sectors in an effort to build a better America,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This EDA investment will support travel and tourism in Pigeon Forge and surrounding communities to create economic opportunity in the region.”

“The Economic Development Administration works closely with communities to support targeted economic development investments to boost coronavirus recovery and response efforts,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “EDA is pleased to support Pigeon Forge as it works to grow its tourism sector by maximizing visitor access to regional attractions such as the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the long-running Wilderness Wildlife Week.”

These projects are funded under EDA’s $240 million competitive American Rescue Plan Travel, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation program. EDA awarded $510 million in grants to all 50 states and territories in 2021. The two programs are designed to accelerate the recovery of communities that rely on the travel, tourism and outdoor recreation sectors. Effective May 26, 2022, EDA has officially closed all of its American Rescue Plan programs for applications. The $3 billion program funding will be awarded on a rolling basis through September 30, 2022.

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the East Tennessee Development District. EDA funds the East Tennessee Development District to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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