Great Smoky Mountains National Park Superintendent Dale Ditmanson has announced that the Park’s newly-restored Appalachian Clubhouse is now available for public day-use rental. The rustic frame building lies about 9 miles from Gatlinburg, TN, in the heart of the national park adjacent to the Elkmont Campground.
“We expect the Clubhouse to be a really popular option for people organizing events such as weddings, family reunions or even business meetings and retreats.” Ditmanson said, “It offers guests a chance to hold a large event within a peaceful and scenic, natural setting.”
The Appalachian Clubhouse is a historic structure constructed in 1934 and is located in the Elkmont Historic District. The structure has been rehabilitated by the National Park Service to its appearance in the 1930’s although with the addition of electricity and indoor plumbing. It was used as a gathering spot by lessees and guests of the Appalachian Club whose members, mostly from Knoxville, built rustic cabins nearby to serve as weekend or summer retreats in the years before the Park was created.
“The restoration of the Clubhouse was never intended to upgrade it to modern standards, but its rustic atmosphere could be appealing for groups looking for an alternative to a hotel conference room,” Ditmanson continued. “As an historic building it lacks some modern amenities such as bright lights, heating and air conditioning, and a full kitchen. Our Park Historic Preservation Crew did an outstanding job of bringing the structure back to life, and we are excited about the opportunity for the public to see and enjoy their handiwork.”
The 3,000 square foot, one-story Clubhouse features a large, open meeting hall about 25’ by 60’ in size with exposed wooden beams and massive stone fireplaces at each end that are equipped with gas logs. It is lighted by period-type fixtures suspended from the ceiling and with wall-mounted sconces. French doors along the entire east side open onto a broad, roofed porch overlooking the forest and a small creek.
It is equipped with folding chairs, round dining tables and rectangular buffet tables. There is a caterer’s kitchen that has countertops, electrical outlets and a sink where food can be kept warm or served, but it has no cooking facilities or refrigerator. Newly built restrooms located just a few yards from the building accommodate both Clubhouse users and hikers using nearby Jakes Creek and Little River Trailheads. Both facilities are fully accessible.
The Clubhouse is available for use from April 1 - November 15. The Clubhouse is rented on a daily basis and may be used from 10:00 AM through 8 PM. The rental fee is $400 per day, Monday through Thursday, and $600 per day Friday through Sunday. Group size is limited to 96 people. Reservations and more information including a map and photographs are available at www.recreation.gov.