ROCKVILLE, Md. — Choice Hotels International, Inc., has awarded franchise agreements to Victor Patel of VRL Hotels to develop new Cambria Hotels in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. These agreements further the upscale brand’s traction in Tennessee, which includes the already open Cambria Hotel Nashville Downtown, the soon-to-open Cambria Hotel Nashville Airport, and a future property in Nashville’s West End neighborhood.
“The Cambria Hotels brand had robust development activity heading into the recent downturn, and we continue to grow despite the current challenging landscape,” said Mark Shalala, senior vice president of development, upscale brands, Choice Hotels. “Since June, we’ve added five new hotels coast to coast—from Madeira Beach, Florida, to Sonoma, California—and our developers continue to be heavily invested in the growth of the brand, as evidenced by these new franchise agreements in two highly sought-after leisure markets in Tennessee. We look forward to building on our success as we close out the year and begin a new one with more excitement on the horizon for the brand.”
The 140-room Cambria Hotel Gatlinburg is expected to open in 2022 with a rooftop bar and restaurant. The proposed hotel will be situated in downtown Gatlinburg, known as the “Gateway to the Smokies,” in the heart of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which is the most visited national park in the United States and is part of the Appalachian Trail, offering more than 850 miles of trails, camping, fishing, biking, and horseback riding. This mountain resort city includes Ober Gatlinburg, the only ski resort in the state, the Gatlinburg SkyLift, which takes people 1,800 feet up to the top of Crockett Mountain, and the Gatlinburg Space Needle, where visitors can take in 360-degree views of the Smoky Mountains. Additional area attractions, many of which are within walking distance of the planned hotel, include Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies and Haunted Adventure, as well as the Rocky Top Sports complex and many bourbon distilleries, breweries, and wineries. The Gatlinburg Convention Center is also one block from the future hotel.
The proposed 140-room Cambria Hotel Pigeon Forge is expected to open in 2024. In addition to its mountain town atmosphere, the area near the future hotel is home to Dollywood, named after country singer Dolly Parton and one of the biggest tourist attractions in Tennessee, and features an Appalachian-themed park with rides, an adjoining water park, a museum of Dolly Parton’s costumes and memorabilia, as well as the Southern Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame and Museum. Other draws near the planned hotel include the LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge, Titanic Museum Attraction, NASCAR SpeedPark Smoky Mountains, and seasonal outdoor events throughout the year, such as Winterfest.
Cambria hotels include locally inspired design décor, reflecting the unique personality of the surrounding community; multi-purpose indoor and outdoor spaces for work or relaxation; contemporary guestrooms with design-forward fixtures, abundant lighting, and plush bedding; spa-style bathrooms with Bluetooth mirrors; on-site dining featuring freshly made food, local craft beer, wine and specialty cocktails, as well as to-go options; multi-function meeting and event space; and fitness centers.
Victor Patel, who is developing both Cambria hotels in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, has more than 15 years of experience with building hotels, including additional Choice-branded properties. There are currently more than 50 Cambria hotels open across the United States in cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, New Orleans, and Phoenix.