The Tower Shops at the Mountain Mile has been touted as a “project of national significance.” That is a bold statement. Does this retail/entertainment development have what it takes to back this up?
Let’s find out.
Nestled near Pigeon Forge and sitting on over 174 acres, The Mountain Mile has 1 mile of store frontage. Nearby is the sprawling Cal Ripken Experience baseball park, the massive Leconte Center, and The Island which is host to a grand hotel, restaurant, and retail stores. The Mountain Mile is the perfect getaway after long ball tournaments, a convention, or those wanting a change of venue from The Island.
The Tower Shops at the Mountain Mile isn’t another strip mall. The architectural design is stunning. Each store has its unique facade that blends perfectly with the others. Park benches dot the area lit by vintage-looking streetlamps. Rustic faux water towers tie the rural nature of the Smoky Mountains into this modern facility. There are dedicated lawns, one of which will be the food truck park and beer garden. The other yard will play host to concerts, movies, pop-up markets, and ice skating in the winter.
What sets The Mountain Mile apart from comparable areas is the quality concentration of stores that are not crammed together like sardines. The designers accomplished this by incorporating open spaces into their plans and avoiding sticking kiosks there.
The wow factor is the entertainment value it offers. At center stage and rising to a staggering 200’ is Mountain Monster. This thrill tower has three adventures for the brave at heart.
Monster Fall drops 200’ straight down with only a lap belt to hold you in. Monster Dive is a 2-person ride from the main tower. Once your seat reaches the top, you enter a “dive cart” that tilts forward, and you face the ground. You free-fall until the bottom when the restraints kick in, and you soar over a water feature. Monster Launch is another 2-seat ride, but instead of plummeting down, you are launched 170’ into the air by compressed air. If you have the courage, they offer an option to do a flip at the top.
The Tower Shops face the Mountain Monster and offer a wide variety of boutiques. There is a Nike outlet, Coffee Armory, REI Co-op, The Mountain Mile General Store, Appalachian Apparel Co., and Junction 35 Spirits, to name a few.
Food is plentiful at The Mountain Mile. Aside from the food trucks, there is Guy Fieri’s Downtown Flavortown. Unlike anything you will see on his show, “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” this 43,000-square-foot restaurant has a bar, an arcade, and an entertainment area.
The Mountain Mile is a unique development, unlike anything in the Smoky Mountain area or the Continental US. They are currently negotiating contracts for the remaining shop spaces, so be sure to check their Facebook page for updates.
Opening in the summer of 2021 is The Listening Room. Noted as one of Nashville’s premier spots for live music and dining, being featured at The Mountain Mile is one more reason to check it out.