SportsEvents Magazine

MAR 2018

SportsEvents is edited for those who plan tournaments or other sports events.

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Page 28 of 75 March 2018 29 t GAME Plan Rocky Top Sports World During one of the largest natural disasters in Tennessee, Rocky Top Sports World was available to serve its neighbors in a variety of ways. An indoor and outdoor sports campus in Gatlinburg, the facility opened its doors to serve shelter victims from the devastating fires that ravaged the city in 2016, following the evacuation of approximately 14,000 residents and tourists. "During the critical hours of evacuation, we opened our doors to serve as a shelter for fire victims and remained open for two and a half weeks in that capacity," said Lori Moore, general manager of Rocky Top Sports World. "At the same time, we were the staging and dispatch center for hundreds of firefighters from across the country who came to assist during the disaster." In addition, Moore said the facility served as a distribution center for food, clothing and medicine 24 hours a day. More than 80,000 meals were served or delivered to shelter residents or citizens who had lost power or were homebound. When asked how the support impacted the way sports groups view Rocky Top Sports World, Moore noted that "the question may not be in how it impacted our athletes and spectators view of Rocky Top but how very important those groups were in our recov- ery." She pointed out that the late winter and spring months are a very busy time for the facility and it was important that the organization confirm with event owners that restaurants, attractions and hotels were open and ready for business. "The clubs and teams supported these events and Gatlinburg by their presence," she said. "By sharing their experience through social media and by word of mouth in their hometowns, they became ambassadors for assuring the public that Gatlinburg was thriving." n An arial view of Rocky Top Sports World Wildfires rage over Gatlinburg, Tenn.

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