GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WATE) — Snow stuck in the higher elevations of the Smokies Monday, which led to excited tourists and crowded overlooks.
Marcus Watson, SkyLift Park’s Marketing Coordinator, sees a change in weather as an opportunity to continue to spread word about North America’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge, which opened in May.
Watson watched the weather forecast Sunday night and prepared to make his way onto the Gatlinburg SkyBridge early Monday to catch a video for social media.
To him, he captured more than another viral video.
“The snow was falling down, you could see the lights running through the length of the bridge, kind of creating that illuminating feeling…but it signifies winter is coming, Christmas is upon us,” he said.
Watson has had no problem getting pictures or video of Gatlinburg’s newest attraction since it opened, through news outlets and social media. He credits the history of the SkyLift Park itself, the views of the mountains, and the public’s interest in changing seasons to their success.
Bonnie Theriot moved to the mountains in June.
Monday marked her second snow. Coming from southern Louisiana, twice in one year isn’t something she’s accustomed to.
This snow, she was able to share the views with her sister and brother-in-law, Evey and Laura Trosclair.
They describe their home as a hub for seafood and commercial fishing, below sea-level and roughly 60 miles south of New Orleans. On Monday, the three were having a snowball fight, significantly above sea level in the Smokies.
“Mother Nature has given us a gift… it’s awesome,” Laura said. “It’s just beautiful, everywhere you turn. It’s just gorgeous,” Theriot added.
While Theriot and her family saw the snow as an opportunity to make memories and share a few laughs, Watson saw it as another opportunity to pull out his phone.
“We see a lot of return visitors to Gatlinburg, but we’re also starting to seeing some new visitors. We like to think that the exposure that the bridge has gotten from these national outlets is in the process of bringing these people into town which is good for us, but also good for Gatlinburg,” he added.
At of 4 p.m. Monday, Watson’s video had been viewed more than 850,000 times. That doesn’t include shares from numerous media outlets.