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NC Department of Transportation

The Smoky Mountain Visitor Center and Rest Area located on US Hwy 441 South, near Franklin just a few miles north of the Georgia State line is owned by the NC Department of Transportation. Through a unique 27-year public/private partnership agreement, NCDOT has leased the visitor center to Smoky Mountain Host for operation and providing visitor information. Additionally, Smoky Mountain Host works with NCDOT in promoting the region’s NC Scenic Byways.

Southwestern Commission - logo

Southwest Commission

The Southwest Commission was also a founding partner of the organization and provides professional planning, regional leadership with elected officials and meeting space for regional convening for many initiatives.  The MountWest Partnership, the economic development arm of the Commission provides an opportunity for the tourism industry to be actively involved in regional economic development efforts when appropriate.

Duke Energy logo

Duke Energy

Duke Energy is a founding partner of the organization and has through the years provided funding for several special projects.  The latest program of work they spearheaded was the Smoky Mountain Blueways:  The Great Rivers and Great Lakes of the Great Smokies.  The initiative allowed the Host to identify 82 public-access sites on the five rivers and four major lakes of the Little Tennessee Watershed that  flow directly into Lake Fontana.  The funds they provided enabled the region to conduct the necessary research needed for the general public, the development of a Work Plan that includes resource conservation, public education and marketing strategies for the Blueways.  To view this work click here.

blooming flower as business resource

Chambers of Commerce and Tourism Development Authority

The Chambers of Commerce and Tourism Development Authorities are key marketing partners for the Host and have also provided their industry experience in regional strategies for numerous projects undertaken by the Host over the years.

Blue Ridge National Heritage Area logo

Blue Ridge National Heritage Area

The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area is a funding partner for many marketing and educational programs undertaken by the Host, including digital and print campaigns such as the annual Travel Guide and the visitsmokies.org website.