Ways to Save on Your Trip to Pigeon Forge

Summer is quickly approaching and the planning process for family vacations has already begun. Let’s be honest, vacations can get pricey!! Planning ahead and finding ways to save is a must for many of us. Here are some helpful tips on making that trip to Pigeon Forge not break the piggy bank.

  1. Order a Pigeon Forge Travel Guide. You can order this from mypigeonforge.com and it is a great resource tool for information on things to do, where to eat, and places to stay. There are also coupons and discounts as well as maps. The travel guide is a great place to start your planning process.
  2. Stop by the Welcome Center located at traffic light #0 on the Parkway or the Visitor Information Center located at traffic light #5 when you arrive in town. You will find friendly faces to offer helpful information and advice along with brochures and coupons.
  3. Don’t pass up those brochure stands located at most area restaurants, hotels, and attractions. Many of them have coupons in them. Even those $1-3 off coupons help out when you are buying for a family!
  4. With the current trends of social media, you might check out your attraction, restaurant, or lodging choice’s Facebook page. They may be offering coupons or deals that are mentioned on their page.
  5. Order your show tickets online. Also, many of the shows offer combo tickets that will allow you to buy tickets to several shows at a discounted rate and some even have deeper discounts on the kid’s tickets.
  6. Dollywood’s “Arrive after 3 pm, and the next day is free” is a great way to get in a little extra time at the park. It is like getting a day and a half at the park for the price of one day. If you are looking to spend several days at Dollywood or Dollywood’s Splash Country, upgrading your ticket to a season pass may be a cheaper option. Plus, you can go back on the next vacation too!
  7. Save time and money on parking by riding the Fun Time Trolley to Dollywood. This is one of Pigeon Forge’s best kept secrets. The cost is 50 cents each way/per person and they drop you off and pick you up at the front of the park!
  8. Dinner shows are a great way to combine dinner and entertainment. 2 for the price of 1!!! Believe me, you get plenty to eat at these shows too.
  9. Choose a cabin or condo for lodging, this way you have a kitchen to cook meals in so that you don’t have to eat out the whole time you are gone.
  10.  Do some research online, some of the cabins and condos have special discounts with the more nights you stay, i.e. book 6 nights and get 1 additional night free.

Enjoy your next trip to Pigeon Forge and still have money left over in your wallet. Do a little planning ahead and watch the savings add up!

Interior Department Seeks Public Dialogue on Reform of Federal Onshore Gas and oil Rules

WASHINGTON &ndash Secretary from the Interior Sally Jewell today introduced the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will open an open dialogue on potential changes to federal onshore gas and oil rules included in Leader Obama&rsquos technique to support a well-balanced, prosperous energy future. The BLM is giving funding Notice of Suggested Rulemaking (ANPR) to find public discuss potential updates to BLM rules regulating gas and oil royalty rates, rental obligations, lease purchase minimum bids, civil penalty caps and financial assurances.
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&ldquoIt&rsquos time to possess a candid conversation about if the American citizen gets the best return to add mass to gas and oil assets on public lands,&rdquo stated Secretary Jewell, who lately talked about the Administration&rsquos energy reform agenda in remarks in the center for Proper and Worldwide Studies. &ldquoThe BLM&rsquos rules haven’t stored pace with technological advances and market conditions, making this an essential information-gathering step once we aim to improve how a authorities does business.&rdquo
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Modernizing the BLM&rsquos rate structures can offer critical versatility, Jewell noted, especially because of the dramatic development of oil development on public and tribal lands, where production has elevated in each one of the past six years, and combined production was up 81 percent in 2014 versus 2008. Potential changes to BLM&rsquos rules would also react to concerns expressed through the Government Accountability Office (GAO), Interior&rsquos Office of Inspector General, yet others the BLM&rsquos existing rules lack versatility and is leading to the U . s . States to forego significant revenue towards the hindrance of citizens.
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The GAO has frequently came to the conclusion the BLM&rsquos rules don’t give a reasonable assurance the public gets appropriate great amount from the revenue from all of these assets.&nbsp The BLM&rsquos current rules don’t have the versatility to provide new competitive rents at greater royalty rates.
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&ldquoAs thing about this process, the BLM and also the Department will conduct an intensive research into the
price of conducting business on federal lands, so we welcome input all parties how citizens could be better assured sufficient compensation from gas and oil production on public lands,&rdquo stated Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management Janice Schneider. &ldquoWe should also ensure individuals assets are developed faithfully and sensibly which financial assurances and penalties reflect the real costs of contemporary day gas and oil development and reclamation.&rdquo
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Presently, the royalty rate for competitive gas and oil rents on public lands is 12.five percent of the need for production. Current regulation locks that rate at least permitted legally, despite the fact that many states and landowners assess greater rates to gas and oil developed using their lands. The ANPR seeks discuss potential changes that will supply the BLM using the procedural versatility to alter the royalty rate as a result of market conditions in conjuction with the technique of offshore gas and oil rents.&nbsp Tribal lands wouldn’t be affected.
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The ANPR also seeks discuss the adequacy of connecting needs and civil penalty checks. The present minimum bond amounts — $10,000 for any lease-wide bond, $25,000 for any state-wide bond, and $150,000 for any countrywide bond — haven’t been up-to-date in 2 decades. The present lease-wide amount reflects a little fraction -Body-fifth of 1 percent — from the average price of drilling a contemporary well and could not adequately reflect the possibility cost to citizens should a business neglect to adhere to lease terms.&nbsp Similarly, existing rules cap the quantity of civil penalties that BLM can assess at levels that might be lacking to supply sufficient deterrence for potential violations.
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&ldquoOur current minimum connecting rates and maximum penalties are ripe for any fresh look,&rdquo stated BLM Director Neil Kornze. &ldquoToday&rsquos connecting rates were set when Dwight D. Eisenhower was leader. We’re lengthy past due to think about an update that can help us make sure that gas and oil sites are correctly handled and reclaimed which citizens aren&rsquot left obtaining the tab.&rdquo
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The ANPR furthermore addresses the need for these assets by inviting discuss the way the BLM might update its rules concerning the minimum acceptable bid that must definitely be compensated by parties seeking a lease at auction, and also the annual rental obligations which are due following a lease is acquired. The present minimum acceptable auction bid is $2 per acre, that is well underneath the rate where most parcels sell, recommending the rate might be greater. After acquiring a lease, a lessee is presently needed to create annual rental obligations before the lease begins creating oil or gas. These rental rates presently are $1.50 per acre for that first 5 years and $2.00 for a long time five through 10.&nbsp The ANPR invites discuss how rental obligations may be better structured to incentivize diligent growth and development of leased areas.
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&ldquoThis process won’t assure broad public input and thorough review and analysis but in addition helps build the general public confidence essential to sustain our energy revolution,&rdquo stated BLM Director Neil Kornze. &ldquoThis dialogue might help make sure that American citizens get a fair return from energy assets developed on their own public lands, offer companies incentives to quickly explore and develop their rents, and supply real-world assurances and preventives that address the potential risks connected with exploration and production.&rdquo
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The ANPR is yet another part of probably the most ambitious reform agenda within the Department&rsquos history to bolster, update and modernize energy rules. For gas and oil procedures offshore, Interior makes sweeping reforms to maintain safe and responsible development, overhauling federal oversight by restructuring to supply independent regulating agencies which have obvious missions and therefore are better-resourced to handle the work they do, whilst keeping pace having a quickly changing industry.
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Within the wake from the devastating Deepwater Horizon blowout, explosion and oil spill, Interior increased drilling and emergency response standards for gas and oil companies, and elevated the bar for procedures via a comprehensive rule to explain and enhance well-control needs for drilling, workover, completion and decommission procedures around the Outer Continental Shelf.&nbsp Interior also launched robust suggested standards for Arctic gas and oil exploration and development, particularly customized towards the region&rsquos challenging conditions.
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Onshore, the Department lately introduced common-sense initiatives, according to extensive public comment and industry guidelines, for controlling hydraulic fracturing.
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The ANPR invites the general public to submit comments throughout a 45-day comment period, that will start following the ANPR is released within the Federal Register in a few days.
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For any draft from the notice, that will publish April 21, click http://on.doi.gov/1ONPcxj.

Pigeon Forge TN Food Tour

On your next trip to Pigeon Forge, make sure to pack your appetite! This city is not lacking in the “good food” department. With so many great options, you can try a different place for each meal as well as each day you are visiting. Although, I must admit we usually only get 2 meals in a day because we are still full from the previous meal. It is kind of like a game for us to see how many new menu items we can try on our trips but yet still get to eat our favorites.

Here are some of my family’s favorites:

For Breakfast: 

Log Cabin Pancake House- This hidden gem has been around since 1973. It is located at the end of the Parkway, just as you are leaving town to head towards the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. They offer great service and good food. One of our favorites here is the Pancakes Royale.

Mama’s Farmhouse- If your tummy is really empty and you are looking for a meal that will last you for quite a while, then head here. There family style breakfast is sure to fill you up. Our little divas love the variety of food that comes to the table. For those traveling with kids 5 and under, they eat for free!

Old Mill Restaurant- This place has a rustic log cabin feel to it and actually has a working gristmill next door. It is the perfect place for good Southern comfort food. I love their grits and fluffy biscuits.

Red Rooster Pancake House- We are pancake lovers in our household. Their chocolate chip pancakes get two thumbs up from us!

Sawyer’s Farmhouse Breakfast- This place is newer to Pigeon Forge and is named after Mark Twain’s novel. We are excited to try it on our next visit. It is getting good reviews and their bananas foster french toast looks amazing!

For Lunch:

Pottery House Cafe and Grille- You can’t go wrong here!! Their fresh baked breads, quiches, and soups are a great lunch choice. Although, I must say that every menu item we have tried is 5 star. We like the beautiful pottery dishes that they serve their food on which are handmade next door at the Pigeon River Pottery.

Mellow Mushroom Pizza- The little divas love this place. You can’t go wrong with pizza anytime of the day for us. Their unique crust and pizza options are a hit. We love the Kosmic Karma pizza and Greek salad.

Bennett’s Pit Bar-B-Que- They offer some great pulled pork, a nice salad bar, and their fried pickle chips are yummy too. This is usually a stop on each of our visits because Tennessee BBQ is like no other!!

Mel’s Diner- This is a 50′s style diner with a fun family atmosphere. It is the perfect place to go for classic American food. Burgers and banana splits is a good lunch for us!!

Hard Rock Cafe- You can’t miss this fun place as you are coming into town on the Parkway from Sevierville. It is a rock & roll good time with all of their great music memorabilia and great American food menu.

For Dinner:

Alamo Steakhouse- They are locally owned and operated. This is a great place for a nice evening out. It offers a nice atmosphere and big portions of food. There is a full kids menu and kids get a set of wikki sticks to entertain them while they wait for their meal instead of the usual crayons and coloring sheet. Their steaks are mouthwatering!

Calhoun’s- This place has a cool mountain lodge atmosphere with a neat fireplace inside. Their specialty is their award-winning ribs. Although their hickory smoked chicken and pork is good too!!

Bullfish Grill- The name in itself is unique but they also serve up some unique menu items. They offer great seafood items, which is what we usually order when we visit, but also, some great salads and Angus beef items. “No bull, just great food” is correct!!

Margaritaville- This great place is located on the Island. They have an outside deck that overlooks the Little Pigeon River and it is a great place to unwind. We love their Volcano nachos. A laidback atmosphere and good food equals a happy family for us!

Timberwood Grill- This is another great choice if you are hanging out at the Island. The servers are dressed like lumberjacks and they offer a great mountain themed menu. Their Campfire Queso and Trail Boss Chicken Tenders are pretty yummy.

One place that is not opened yet but has our family anxiously waiting is Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen. This will be a must “stop” place for us. My little divas are obsessed with cooking shows and love to see the yummy creations of Paula Deen. So as you can tell, Pigeon Forge has you covered in the “good food” department. Make sure to visit each of these great places and come up with some favorites of your own!

BLM Announces Three Choices for National Wild Equine and Burro Advisory Board

The Bureau of Land Management introduced today the Secretaries of Interior and Agriculture make choices for 3 open positions on its nine-member National Wild Equine and Burro Advisory Board.&nbspJune Sewing of Cedar plank City, Utah, continues to be re-hired for that group of wild equine and burro advocacy Jennifer Sall of Lander, Wyoming, continues to be hired for that group of public interest (with special understanding about protection of untamed horses and burros, control over wildlife, animal husbandry, or natural resource management) and Dr. Julie M. Weikel, DVM, of Princeton, Or, continues to be hired for that group of veterinary medicine.&nbspEach individual assists a 3-year term around the Advisory Board.

Ms. Sewing may be the Executive Director and Secretary for that National Mustang Association, that she’s labored since 1985 undertaking various duties, including controlling the association&rsquos wild equine sanctuary.&nbspMs. Sewing has additionally offered because the leader of local charitable organizations &ndash as trustee around the Cedar plank City hospital board for 25 years, as well as on a committee coping with the endangered Utah prairie dog.&nbsp Ms. Sewing has gotten a Citizen Volunteer award in the Chamber of Commerce, Board of Real estate agents, and Southern Utah College. &nbspShe was initially hired towards the Advisory Board this year and will also be serving another term.

Easter Fun in Pigeon Forge

The Easter Bunny will be hopping into town soon. Pigeon Forge has some great activities planned if you will be visiting for the holiday weekend.

Here are some events that you might want to check out:

  • Afterwards, make sure to head over to the free Easter egg hunt in Patriot Park at 10:00 am for kids 12 and under. This park is so big and open that your kids will surely have a great time running around and gathering up those colored eggs.
  • The Island will be celebrating on April 4th beginning at noon. There will be lots of activities going on so plan to spend the day.
  • On Easter Sunday, Mama’s Farmhouse will be serving up a Traditional Easter dinner from 11 am-9 pm. The Easter Bunny will be there for pictures and there will be egg hunts at noon and 2 pm for the kids.
  • Just a reminder, Dollywood will be closed for Easter Sunday.

Some ideas for Easter weekend fun of your own:

  • It is the perfect time to load the family up and head up to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Enjoy the sights and sounds of spring and challenge those kiddos with a scavenger hunt/hike.
  • Dress your kids up and take some spring pictures of them. There are too many great options to name here. Some of my favorite spots would be along the River Walk Trail, in Old Mill Square by the running gristmill, and Cade’s Cove.

Whatever your plans may be for the Easter holiday weekend, enjoy the time with your family and make some unforgettable memories!

BLM Sets Meeting of National Wild Equine and Burro Advisory Board for April 22-23 in Columbus, Ohio

The Bureau of Land Management&rsquos National Wild Equine and Burro Advisory Board will come across on April 22-23 in Columbus, Ohio, to go over issues relevant towards the management and protection of untamed horses and burros on Western public rangelands.&nbspThe two-day meeting will occur on Wednesday, April 22, from 8 a.m. to five p.m., and Thursday, April 23, from 8 a.m. to five p.m.&nbsp(The meeting occasions are local time Columbus is incorporated in the Eastern Time Zone.)
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The approaching Advisory Board meeting is going to be held in the Hyatt Regency Columbus, 350 N. Traditional, Columbus, Ohio 43215 telephone number: 614-463-1234.&nbspThe agenda from the meeting are available in the March 23, 2015, Federal Register (at http://world wide web.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-03-23/pdf/2015-06517.pdf).
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The Advisory Board provides input and advice towards the BLM because it performs its duties underneath the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.&nbspThe law mandates the security and control over these free-roaming creatures in a fashion that guarantees healthy herds at levels in conjuction with the land&rsquos ability to support them. &nbspAccording towards the BLM&rsquos latest official estimate, roughly 49,200 wild horses and burros roam on BLM-handled rangelands in 10 Western states.
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The general public may address the Advisory Board on Wednesday, April 22, from three p.m. to 4:30 p.m., local time.&nbspIndividuals who wish to create a statement at Wednesday&rsquos meeting should register personally using the BLM by 2 p.m., local time, with that 24 hour in the meeting site. &nbspDepending on the amount of loudspeakers, the Board may limit the size of presentations, set at three minutes for previous conferences.
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Loudspeakers should submit an itemized copy of the statement towards the BLM in the addresses below or bring a duplicate towards the meeting. &nbspThere might be a Webcam present throughout the whole meeting and individual comments might be recorded. &nbspThose who want to comment but they are not able to go to may submit an itemized statement to: National Wild Equine and Burro Program, WO-260, Attention: Ramona DeLorme, 1340 Financial Boulevard, Reno, Nevada, 89502-7147.&nbspComments can also be e-mailed towards the BLM (at wildhorse@blm.gov) please include &ldquoAdvisory Board Comment&rdquo within the subject type of the e-mail.
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To acquire more information concerning the meeting, please contact Ms. DeLorme, Wild Equine and Burro Administrative Assistant, at 775-861-6583. &nbspIndividuals using a telecommunications device for that hard of hearing (TDD) may achieve Ms. DeLorme throughout normal business hrs by calling the government Information Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339.
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The Advisory Board generally meets two times annually and also the BLM Director may call additional conferences at the appropriate interval. &nbspMembers serve without salary, but they are refunded for travel and per diem expenses based on government travel rules.

In the control over wild horses and burros underneath the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, the BLM is applying recommendations produced by a June 2013 report from the Nas.&nbspFor instance, the BLM takes actions to improve&nbspthe utilization of population growth-suppression measures on overpopulated herds roaming Western public rangelands and applying techniques produced by the U.S. Geological Survey for additional accurate population estimations.

News Break…It is Quilt Time!

The 21st Annual “A Mountain Quiltfest” will take the stage in Pigeon Forge March 18-21. The city will be filled with fabulous ladies who love the art of quilting. There will be classes for quilters of all skill levels, vendors with some of the newest and greatest technology, as well as a first class quilt show/competition. This year there will be 20 categories in the quilt show so you definitely don’t want to miss it! The event will be held in the beautiful LeConte Center which is a treat in itself. It is surrounded by beautiful scenery, so when you need a break, you can just walk outside and take a deep breath of the fresh mountain air.

I had the pleasure of attending with my mom several years ago and we had a wonderful time! It was a great time of mother/daughter bonding, all while we experienced the great activities of the event. Although I will admit, my mom is a much more patient person than I and she handled the details of the classes that we took much better than my perfectionist self, did! The Antique Quilt Bed Turnings were so interesting.

Seeing and hearing about quilts that were over 40 years old was like taking a trip down memory lane for me. It took me back to the quilts that my grandmother had from her childhood. I actually have one of them and will cherish it forever. One of our favorite parts of Quiltfest was the Dinner Social. It included good food, great company, and a unique souvenir pottery piece. We met ladies from all over the country and enjoyed hearing their stories of quilting. The Friday night Show and Tell event was also a fun event. Lots of women gathered together under one roof to show off their beautiful quilts and share in some laughs and good times. There are also some great giveaways.

I was truly amazed at the craftsmanship and the beauty in the quilts that were displayed throughout Quiltfest. Quilting, in all of its many forms, truly is an art. From the fabric that is chosen to the pattern that is followed to the delicate and detailed stitching…these quilts are timeless treasures! Each quilt is a story of the people that made it and are great family heirlooms. I hope that my little divas will learn to appreciate the history of the quilts that we have in our home as much as I do.

Pigeon Forge, thanks for keeping the art of quilting alive!!

Spring Break in Pigeon Forge

Spring is almost here!!! We are counting down the days in our house and my little divas are excited for a Spring Break from school soon. It is the perfect time of year for a little getaway to relax and refocus for the bright days of spring and summer ahead. Pigeon Forge is ready to help make your family’s Spring Break one to remember!!

The many award-winning shows in the area have been working hard and are gearing up to show you a good time in 2015. Country Tonite will be unveiling a new show and kids 12 and under are free with a paying adult. Our little divas love that they have kid performers in this show and get so excited to take pictures with them at the end of the show. The Comedy Barn will be celebrating its 20th anniversary this year and is sure to offer your family a good time and plenty of laughs. A little laughter is sure to help your family relax and refocus!!

Dollywood re-opens for the season on March 21, 2015 with the kick-off of Festival of Nations. There will be great shows, music, food, and art from around the world. Hours of entertainment and fun await the entire family. Whether you choose to take a relaxing train ride on the Dollywood Express, catch one of the first class shows, or take a daredevil ride on the Wild Eagle, it is a definite Spring Break must!

The Island is ready to offer your family plenty of fun times too. With so many entertainment, food, and shopping options, your family is sure to find something to suit everyone. The Island Fountains are a great spot for just hanging out and regrouping while the Island Mirror Maze and Arcade City offer plenty of fun for the kids. The Margaritaville Restaurant and the Margaritaville Island hotel are sure to put you on island time so you can just kick back and relax!!

Another great spot is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is the perfect time to check out the transition of seasons and all of the grand beauty that surrounds. Make sure to stop at one of the four visitors centers to see what all is going on in the park as well as get a little history of the area.

If you are ready to relax and refocus this Spring Break, pack your bags and head to Pigeon Forge where a family friendly good time awaits!!