Road through National Park to Cherokee, N.C. is Open

Repairs to U.S. 441/Newfound Gap Road in Great Smoky Mountain National Park are Complete; Direct Link between Cherokee, N.C., and Gatlinburg, Tenn., is Re-established

CHEROKEE, N.C. (April 15, 2013) – The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) are pleased to announce that access to Cherokee, N.C., is as easy as ever now that repairs to U.S. 441/Newfound Gap Road are complete. The road that directly links Cherokee to Gatlinburg, Tenn., reopened on April 15, 2013, after being closed for repairs because of a January landslide.

“U.S. 441/Newfound Gap Road is a major artery for visitors coming from the Tennessee side of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, so any time it is closed, our local businesses here in Cherokee feel the impact,” said Jason Lambert, director of the Cherokee Division of Commerce. “Park service officials immediately recognized the potentially devastating economic impact a prolonged closure would have on gate-way communities like Cherokee, and we are pleased that the park service moved quickly to get the road open as soon as possible, just in time for the tribe’s busy summer tourism season.”

Brooks Robinson, Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort’s Senior Vice President and General Manager, agreed by saying, “We are also grateful 441 is opening several weeks ahead of schedule, and we look forward to providing a welcoming, resort experience for our guests from eastern Tennessee.”

Recognizing the importance of U.S. 441/Newfound Gap Road as a vital economic link between North Carolina and Tennessee communities, the EBCI worked with park officials to offer an incentive proposal to motivate the contractor to complete the road repairs as efficiently as possible. Per the terms of the incentive proposal, $18,000 per day will be paid to the contractor for each day of completion prior to May 15, 2013, up to a maximum of $500,000. The amount donated by the EBCI applies to the first 14 days of the incentive period at the aforementioned rate.

About Cherokee

Explore trails of legends and adventure wrapped in authentic Cherokee culture brought to life in the stories, history, traditions, songs, dances, ceremonies and fascinating period dress of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Cherokee offers activities, packages and itineraries that make visiting an affordable pleasure for all ages and interests. Visit the new Oconaluftee Visitor’s Center. Enjoy cultural festivals and attractions, bonfires, camping, tubing, hiking, wading, biking, birding, waterfalls, water mills, a pioneer village, art galleries and shops, hotels and motor lodges, family fun parks, petting zoos, more than 30 miles of untamed trout waters, and Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort. For more information about Cherokee, visit www.visitcherokeenc.com or call 800-438-1601.

Media Contact: Jennifer Vincenzo McLucas
Jennifer McLucas PR
828-335-2514| jenvincenzo@yahoo.com