Every year the Sevier County Hospitality and Tourism Alliance awards members of the community with prestigious honors and recognition for their impact on the millions of travelers that frequent the area throughout the year. Anakeesta won the highest honor of Best Attraction of the Year along with other categories recognizing staff and special events!
In addition to winning best attraction of the year, Anakeesta also took the top prize for Food and Beverage Manager of the year, awarded to Autumn Millville, Special Event Series for Anakeesta’s annual Summer in the Smokies, and Women in Tourism and Hospitality Leader of the Year awarded to co-founding partner, Karen Bentz.
Karen is the inspiration behind the special events team where each season the park’s décor is designed, and a lineup of entertainment and activities is developed.
“We are so honored to have been recognized by the SCHTA for our summertime special events programming, Summer in the Smokies,” said Karen Bentz. “From live music, to children’s activities featuring free arts and crafts we strive to create an atmosphere of fun and celebration for our guests.”
Anakeesta was the SCHTA best attraction of the year recipient in 2018 and was honored to have received the award again this year.
In spite of the difficulties that 2020 has presented, Anakeesta once again elevated the guest experience this year when they launched a 3-phase, 6.5-million-dollar expansion opening AnaVista Tower, TreeVenture Challenge Course and Black Bear Village featuring the new Cliff Top restaurant, Kephart Café, Mercantile and plaza with splash pad, fire pit and musical stage.
“Amidst the many challenges this year, Anakeesta opened our largest expansion to date,” said Bob Bentz, Managing Partner. “Black Bear Village brings together our vision for Anakeesta as a place for families to play and relax together outdoors while taking in the incredible beauty of the Smoky Mountains.”