10 Mar 2020
Here is a little history for one of the most recognized spots in Gatlinburg. Thousands upon thousands of you have had your picture taken while riding the lift and for many it has become a family tradition.
In 1953 the owner of the Gatlinburg Inn, Rel Maples decided he would like to have a chair lift constructed on a steep piece of property he owned going up Crockett Mountain behind his motel. There was not even a road in place to bring in materials. Mr. Maples reached out to a gentleman he had read about in AAA magazine, Mr. Everett Kircher of Michigan of Boyne Resorts. Mr. Kircher wanted to buy the property and build the lift for himself. He came to Gatlinburg and met with Mr. Maples who decided not to sell the property, but instead agreed to a 99 year lease with a 100 foot easement from his motel property.
Mr. Kircher had vast experience with attractions, being the owner of Boyne Resorts of Michigan which started as Ski Resort and has grown to include 12 resorts, world class golf courses and a ski area. Kircher has been a pioneer in the creation of snow blowing and snow grooming equipment having created machines that are now considered standards of the industry. We are fortunate to have had someone of his caliber build our famous lift.
The Gatlinburg Sky Lift operates 364 days a years (weather permitting). Over 300,000 people a year take the breathtaking ride up the mountains to take in the views of the city and the surrounding mountainsides. Daytime or nighttime views are unparalleled. Souvenir photos taken at the top of the lift with Gatlinburg and the mountains as a backdrop are extremely popular and available for purchase.
If you have photos of yourself or your family on the lift please share them with us and if not please come try out the new lift and begin a new tradition of your own!