SEVIER COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) -- A Sevier County cabin has apologized after appearing to solicit guests after Sevier County leaders asked tourism and travel-related companies to discontinue doing so through April 14 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cabins For You posted on Facebook Tuesday afternoon saying, "Dreaming of Smoky Mountain views and cabin fun? Get out of the house and into YOUR private, clean cabin home — with a full kitchen for homemade meals, amenities to stay entertained, and complimentary Wi-Fi to work remotely."
The post has since been taken down.
Pigeon Forge Mayor David Wear told WVLT News he respects businesses in Sevier County, but said, "Now is not the time to be inviting people in to our county for leisure travel."
The next day, April 1, the cabin company responded to WVLT News and said the recent advertisements were a mistake and said ads appearing to solicit guests were auto-scheduled.
"Cabins for YOU would like to formally apologize for any confusion caused by recent advertisements. These were auto-scheduled, and at the time, we were unaware of the mayors’ request to stop all lodging solicitation for the next 14 days," the company said in a message. "Cabins for YOU agrees with the mayors’ request and fully supports the community in the battle against COVID-19. We have stopped all solicitations for the next 14 days and will continue to help protect our guests and local residents."
Governor Lee issued a safer at home order due to the pandemic, and asked for nonessential businesses to be closed. Under the order, hotels and motels are considered essential businesses. The order clarifies "this includes, but is not limited to: hotels, motels, lodges, dormitories, and short-term rentals, to the extent used for lodging and delivery or carryout food and beverage services."
According to the FloridaPanhandle, bookings in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg specifically are down 93% from last year.
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