Westgate Resorts' Wild Bear Falls
Gatlinburg, Tenn., March 6, 2007- It's hard to imagine going to a waterpark in the middle of winter. Flowing down a lazy river, lounging at a zero entry pool, watching kids zip down one of the 300+ foot water slides- these are activities usually reserved for summertime. But in the mountains of east Tennessee, Westgate Resorts had a vision to take the thrill of a waterpark and the beauty of the Smoky Mountains and make it available year-round, rain or shine.
It took a team to create this new indoor-outdoor world called Wild Bear Falls. Kellie Corbin, corporate director of resort activities for Westgate Resorts, made it happen.
Starting with a greenhouse the size of a football field, she pulled together efforts from companies like Recreonics Inc., American Hotel Register Company, Water Safety Products, Inc. and White Water Pools. She found local artists and craftsmen to create custom statues of bears, caves and trees that tower to the roofline.
Furniture was particularly tricky. Corbin needed something rot resistant, cost efficient, and built to withstand thousands of visitors. She turned to Tommy Mitchell, owner and designer of Rocky Top Log Furniture & Railing.
"We'd seen Rocky Top on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, so we knew they would produce top end furniture," says Corbin.
What she didn't know was this family-owned company in Lancaster, Ky., was no stranger to work on resorts, lodges and amusement parks.
"Their pieces fit the theme perfectly, turnaround time was short, and the customer service was outstanding. Tommy finished the custom building project in two weeks, personally delivered the furniture and setting everything up. It is rare to see an owner so hands-on."
Tony King, Water Park Manager at Wild Bear Falls, is amazed at the result from Rocky Top and all the other contributors. "The detail that has gone that into this park is unprecedented. Our goal was to create an indoor space that captured the feeling of the mountains. We did just that."
And now, Wild Bear Falls- the largest indoor waterpark in the South- is open for business.Rocky Top is a national leading manufacturer of northern white cedar log furniture and log railing. All products are ideal for homes, cabins, resorts, lodges, restaurants, water parks, state & national parks and amusement parks. Family owned and operated, Rocky Top manufactures and distributes its products nationwide from Lancaster, KY.