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 New Lodge Positioning Itself to Rival
the Best Properties in the Southeast

Townsend, TN – May 15, 2006 – Dancing Bear Lodge, formerly Maple Leaf Lodge, is rolling out an innovative guest-experience concept for Smoky Mountain vacationers. Positioned as east Tennessee’s ultimate vacation basecamp, Dancing Bear Lodge is unveiling a renovated luxury lodge featuring the only full bar and wine program in the area, as well as a brand-new name.

Located at the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains, Dancing Bear Lodge combines all-wood mountain-lodge accommodations with luxury appointments and a level of service normally experienced at resorts. The Lodge is designed to appeal to guests seeking a rustic vacation basecamp for their Smoky Mountain experience, but who don’t want to leave the finer amenities behind.

Managing Partner Matt Alexander, former manager of nearby Blackberry Farm, explains why the change is more than symbolic. “We felt the vacation-basecamp concept necessitated changes to the existing property to live up to our expectations for the Dancing Bear experience. Once renovations were complete, we needed a name that reflected this new concept and gave the lodge a fresh start.”

In addition to overall refurbishments, including new furniture, feather beds and bed linens, Dancing Bear Lodge also recently renovated three of its guest cabins. Complete with luxury bath suites and pantries, the new cabins are ideal for private, romantic getaways.

Why did the property choose the name Dancing Bear Lodge? Alexander explains, “The new name was inspired by an 1800s painting called ‘The Bear Dance’ by William Holbrook Beard. It depicts bears as symbols of conservative financial investors celebrating a good business day.

“After seeing the painting, [Blackberry Farm co-owner] Kreis Beall suggested the name ‘Dancing Bear Lodge’ and we all agreed,” he added. “The name makes people smile. More importantly, it captures the spirit and fun of the mountain lodge experience only found at Dancing Bear Lodge.”

If the Blackberry Farm name sounds familiar, it’s because Blackberry Farm, rated the Number-one Small Hotel in America by Zagat, is the parent company of Dancing Bear Lodge. While Dancing Bear Lodge offers its own signature experience, the Blackberry Farm influence is certainly felt, especially in Dancing Bear Lodge’s dedication to genuine hospitality and its regionally inspired dining program. 

Chef Jeff Carter, also formerly of Blackberry Farm, explains, “Dancing Bear Lodge’s newly opened full-service restaurant and bar—the only full bar and wine program in the area—features casually elegant, regional cuisine. Our guests enjoy a creative menu of Southern selections inspired by flavors indigenous to this region, with particular emphasis on the best ingredients of the season. Family and friends gathering for a fun meal on the deck, as well as couples seeking a romantic dinner for two surrounded by wooded views, are equally at home here.”

Alexander added, “We are very proud of the Dancing Bear difference. Our team is on hand 24 hours and delivers on its promise of genuine hospitality every single day. We want guests to find comfort in every aspect of their stay, without being in their way.” He continued, “The quality of the overall experience clearly sets Dancing Bear Lodge apart from all other hotels in the Smoky Mountains region.”

Future expansion plans include a swimming pool, more cabins and additional activity areas. “Dancing Bear Lodge was designed as a basecamp for all that the Great Smoky Mountains has to offer—fly fishing, road and mountain biking, nature hiking, horseback riding. They’re all right here in our back yard,” said Alexander. “With future expansions, we’ll give our guests even more reasons to come back again and again.”

Located on the Little River in Townsend, Tennessee, Dancing Bear Lodge resides on a 36-acre estate only five minutes from the entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. In August 2004, the property was known as Maple Leaf Lodge when it was purchased by the owners of Blackberry Farm and Matt Alexander. The transformation to Dancing Bear Lodge began almost immediately, with improvements to guest lodgings and a vision for Smoky Mountain experiences unlike any other. Centered around a 15,000-square-foot main lodge, the property also features a VIP suite and one- and two-bedroom cabins. Dancing Bear Lodge offers unique and full-service experiences for the vacation minded as well as those seeking a one-of-a-kind environment for business meetings, weddings and family reunions.


Matt Alexander
137 Apple Valley Way
Townsend, TN 37882

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