PIGEON FORGE (WATE) - Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville restaurant opened its doors Monday at the Island in Pigeon Forge.
The store will serve as the anchor of the entertainment complex.
When the ribbon was cut on the new Margaritaville, there was a feeling that would have been hard to imagine just a few years ago.
"Unfortunately it was one of the largest failed properties in the state of Tennessee," said Developer, Bob McManus. "It was a ghost town."
"Every time I come to a ribbon cutting at the Island it makes me smile just a little bit more, because I know what it was, what it is today and what it's going to be in the future," said Pigeon Forge Mayor David Wear.
Now the store is open and bringing a new legion of tourists to the area.
"Wherever they go they attract their own customers plus new customers to the market and that's what we're looking forward too," said Wear.
That following was obvious as the doors opened, within minutes the restaurant was on a waiting list.
"We're waiting for our reservation," said Fran Martin. "We have dinner whenever that beeps."
Fran and her husband Joe recently moved to pigeon forge from Florida. The Island has become their favorite go-to spot.
"Everybody that comes to town this is the place to bring them," said Martin. "I mean you can go into the other places and buy souvenir, but this is the place to be I think."
The two-story Margaritaville features multiple bars, a gift shop and an exterior deck with a live performance stage overlooking the Little Pigeon River.
"It's beautiful," said Martin. "It's really nice. I don't remember anything being as large as this one."
Now they say they can't help but anticipate what will open next.
"We're going to go to anything that opens up here," said Martin. "We're ready for anything. We're excited."
The attention will now shift to the Margaritaville Hotel that is set to open its doors in October.
The hotel is taking reservations for the fall. For more information call 1-844-4FINSUP.