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PIGEON FORGE — The band was playing cover tunes, the employees were wearing festive flannel shirts and, most important, the giant wheel was turning.
On a hot and sunny morning, a flop of an attraction was transformed on Thursday into a symbol of economic renewal in a tourism hot spot.
Developers Darby Campbell and Bob McManus hosted a ribbon-cutting for The Island in Pigeon Forge, a collection of shops, restaurants and entertainment venues whose centerpiece is the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel, a 200-foot tall ride featuring 42 gondola-style cars.
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