‘Christ in the Smokies’ closure is latest in a series of changes for Gatlinburg community

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GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WATE) — A longtime roadside attraction in Gatlinburg has announced they are closed for good.

Christ in the Smokies Museum & Gardens announced on social media Jan. 11 that they lost their lease. Employees said the owners of neighboring Gatlinburg SkyLift Park. purchased the lease.

The museum on River Road has welcomed visitors for more than 30 years, first as Christus Gardens, then later as Christ in the Smokies. Visitors walked through a tour of Biblical times that featured life-size figures and special effects.

“We want to thank everyone for coming to the museum over the years…we are prayerful looking for a new location for the dioramas…figures…and exhibits. We appreciate your prayers…and hope to have news before Easter,” said the business on a post made on social media.

The museum on River Road in Gatlinburg is just one of several changes at longtime businesses in Gatlinburg.

Sweet Fanny Adams held a final show on Dec. 31, dropping the curtain on 44 years as downtown attraction.

“Thank you for 44 wonderful years and remember, “always look on the bright side of life,” the theater posted on their ticketing website.

Two longtime business owners have died, leaving their legacy shops to the next generation.

Ober Gatlinburg’s Bruce Anders, company president, died Jan. 8. The Anders family continues to operate the resort.

The Donut Friar announced Jan. 7, that owner James Ryan had died.

The changes come amid a year of increased tourism, as many take advantage of the great outdoors for social distancing.

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