It’s no secret that the opening night reception is one of the most enjoyable parts of the Governor’s Conference. It’s a time to network, relax and unwind from a busy day filled with sessions and learning, so we always strive to make it an enjoyable experience. By hosting the conference in Gatlinburg, we wanted to take advantage of the incredible tourist destinations and have a reception at a venue that encompasses all of what Gatlinburg has to offer. That’s why we decided to hold the opening night reception at Ankeesta.
Anakeesta opened its doors earlier this year and has quickly become a Gatlinburg favorite. Anakeesta is an authentic outdoor experience that celebrates the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park while providing entertainment and fun for the whole family. Anakeesta aims to create a unique, authentic, entertaining and memorable outdoor family experience by immersing guests of all ages in the beauty and adventure of nature, providing diverse offerings and instilling a sense of appreciation and wonder for the magic that’s in the mountains.
Unlike some tourist attractions, Anakeesta has many unique qualities that makes it stand out, including its access. In order to reach the top of the mountain to see the shops and restaurants, visitors must take a ski lift or Chondola. The ride offers some outstanding views all the way up. The Anakeesta Chondola is the first of its kind to be built in the United States. The scenic ride takes you up 600 feet to the Summit via the 104 quad chairs and eight 6-person gondola cabins. Once you reach the top, you are surrounded by the scenery of Gatlinburg.