Townsend has always billed itself quite rightly as “the quiet side of the Smokies,” and for many travelers this village is a welcome contrast to the hokum of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. The 250 residents had a chance to make a tourism-related change in their community in the last election, however, and they turned it down.
By a vote of 96-87, residents rejected a proposal that would have enabled restaurants to serve liquor by the drink. Was this a good move? Restaurants make a lot of money from alcohol, and being able to sell it usually means that more upscale places are likely to move in, a welcome relief from the “country cooking” cuisine all so present in these parts. Higher restaurant tabs would have brought more tax dollars to Townsend as well.
Being able to sell alcohol might have brought more people to Townsend, however, and the quiet side might become less quiet. Having seen in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge how bad things can get with no planning and unbridled development, I think it’s important for the good people Townsend to do whatever it takes to control growth.
And if they think having no liquor by the drink helps, I’m all for it. Cheers!