The City of Gatlinburg launched the renovation of the Gatlinburg Parkway visitors center at 520 Parkway adjacent to Fred McMahan Parking Garage in downtown Gatlinburg around traffic light # 3 at the intersection of US 321 and US 441. Construction began on March 11, 2013 and the project is expected to be completed July 22, 2013.
The renovation will include adding a splash pad with four water falls and a river bed with a splashing brook along the base. Interactive elements such as musical instruments will also be included in the area surrounding the splash pad. There will be a pavilion area with plenty of seating for families to take a break from the hustle and bustle or to watch kids play in the splash pad. The pavilion will also house charging stations so visitors can charge their electronic devices and continue their day with communication. The new area will also include a depiction of the Great Smoky Mountains featuring various mountain peaks.
A splash pad is an area for water play that has no standing water. It eliminates the need for lifeguards, as there is practically no risk of drowning. They are usually surfaced in textured non-slip concrete or in crumb rubber. Typically there are ground nozzles that spray water upwards out of the splash pad’s rain-deck. There may also be other water features such as a rainbow, a mushroom shower or a tree shower. Some splash pads also feature movable nozzles similar to those on a firetruck to allow users to spray one another. The showers and ground nozzles are often controlled by hand-activated motion sensors, to run for a limited time. Typically the water is either freshwater, or recycled and treated water that is usually treated similar to swimming pool water standards.
Visitors will be able to get more information about attractions, accommodations and the mountains at this interactive play area.