International Theme Park Group Opening First U.S. Location In Tennessee


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An international theme park group is coming to America, bringing its first U.S. attraction right here in Tennessee.

French theme park company Puy du Fou and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Tribal Council have come to an agreement for a $75 million "immersive" show at the Sevier County development site known as "The 407: Gateway to Adventure," WKRN reports. The theme park, which is expected to anchor the massive commercial development, will be located at the Tennessee entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

"Puy du Fou is known around the world for transporting guests back in time to feel firsthand the excitement and drama of historical moments," said Richard Sneed, principal chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. "This unique attraction promises to be a one of a kind experience that will make The 407 truly the 'Gateway to Adventure.'"

Puy du Fou has locations in France and Spain where they are known to take visitors on a trip through time to see events inspired by history, such as viking conquests and medieval battles, the news outlet reports. The new Tennessee attraction is expected to include an "all-new themed spectacle inspired by an authentic and heartbreaking Cherokee story of their heroism in World War I," according to a press release.

"We are excited to take the first steps towards developing this world-class attraction that will help support our nation economically while creating a new platform to share dimensions of Cherokee history many have never heard," said Richard French, chairman of the Tribal Council.

Puy du Fou's flagship location in France is the second most visited theme park in the country, falling only behind Disneyland Paris, attracting more than 2.3 million visitors in 2019.

"This project in Tennessee developed together with the EBCI means a lot for us: it will initiate our presence on the American soil where there are so many great stories to tell," said Nicolas de Villiers, chairman and artistic director for Puy du Fou. "As lovers of history and cultural roots, we are proud and honored to partner with the EBCI Tribe to achieve this goal."


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