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Funding approved for development at Sevier County I-40 exit

The development in Sevierville will include hotels, restaurants, and a 74,000 square foot travel center called “Buc-ee’s.
The development in Sevierville will include hotels, restaurants, and a 74,000 square foot...
The development in Sevierville will include hotels, restaurants, and a 74,000 square foot travel center called “Buc-ee’s.(TDOT)
Published: May. 9, 2022 at 10:01 AM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians approved $75 million for development at the Sevier County exit off I-40.

The development coined the “The 407: Gateway to Adventure” in Sevierville will include hotels, restaurants, and a 74,000 square foot travel center called “Buc-ee’s.” The EBCI also announced a partnership with French company Puy du Fou, to bring a walk-through show telling the story of the Cherokee in World War I.

The approved funding is for Phase 1 of the development.

“We are excited to take the first steps towards developing this world-class attraction that will help support our nation economically while creating a new platform to share dimensions of Cherokee history many have never heard,” said Richard French, Chairman of the Tribal Council.

“This project in Tennessee developed together with the EBCI means a lot for us: it will initiate our presence on the American soil where there are so many great stories to tell. As lovers of history and cultural roots, we are proud and honored to partner with the EBCI Tribe to achieve this goal” Nicolas de Villiers, Chairman & Artistic Director of Puy du Fou.

Based on a formal Letter of Intent signed by Puy du Fou, the ECBI Tribal Council approved the Phase I funding in a session on May 5th.

“Puy du Fou is known around the world for transporting guests back in time to feel firsthand the excitement and drama of historical moments. This unique attraction promises to be a one-of-a-kind experience that will make The 407 truly the ‘Gateway to Adventure’,” said Richard Sneed, Principal Chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

Developers intend for Puy du Fou to anchor “The 407: Gateway to Adventure” project, which is owned and operated by Kituwah, LLC, a wholly-owned business subsidiary of the EBCI. The highly anticipated 200-acre development is located at the primary Tennessee entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

According to a release, more attractions will be announced later this year.

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