Bear Village Resorts is Creating a Unique Eco-Friendly Family Destination in Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains Where Wilderness Education and Rescue Meets Family Adventure

In combining a bear and indigenous wildlife rescue, recovery, and re-entry educational experience with exciting indoor and outdoor activities and adventure attractions for all ages, Bear Village Resorts (, is developing a unique and affordable eco-friendly family resort destination nestled in 49 acres of picturesque Tennessee forestry. 

Bear Village Resorts

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The resort, which will be located in the Smoky Mountains in Pigeon Forge, TN, is designed to be where wilderness education meets family adventure to create lasting memories for its guests. Now more than ever, families are looking for a different kind of resort experience that can deliver a thrilling return to nature in a convenient, climate-controlled environment.

Bear Village, Inc. is currently seeking investors to fund continued site development. The minimum investment amount is $500 with Reg A Tier II toward the overall goal of raising $50 million for the planned project development, construction, operations, initial setup, and management. The company has two resorts in development. The first, in Pigeon Forge, TN, is the furthest developed. A second property located in Jackson County, Georgia, is undergoing an initial site layout. Additional properties will be acquired as destination resort demographics are evaluated. Visit the investment page here ( 

The Tennessee resort’s extensive proposed plans will feature an 80,000 sq. ft. indoor water park, a 60,000 sq. ft. adventure park, a 15,000-gallon freshwater aquarium, a 90,000 sq. ft. family entertainment center, a 20,000 sq. ft. banquet center, 250+ room resort hotel, 250+ unit condo development, 250+ timeshare units, and a state-of-the-art sports bar. The resort facilities will also offer a wide variety of food and beverage outlets, including fine dining, all with 4-star quality service, nightlife venues, retail outlets, and an educational wildlife experience. 

Guests will have the opportunity to explore unlimited fun as they can navigate giant water slides, scale the indoor/outdoor rock climbing and ropes courses, take flight across a 3,000-foot-long Zip Coaster, competition surf with a wave machine, swim the tropical lagoons, or test their mettle on a high-speed indoor Karting track.

“With the distractions of mobile phones and video games these days, children are spending less time in the great outdoors,” said Rick Haynes, CEO of Bear Village Resorts. “So, we have brought the outdoors indoors for them and their families to have exposure to several destinations while having the opportunity to become aware of endangered animal habitats, and the adventures that the outdoors can bring. Pigeon Forge is the perfect location as it is centered in the Smoky Mountains and surrounded by wildlife and the great outdoors. We will bring these all together in a venue that can be used year-round and is located within a day’s drive of multiple states with significant population centers.”

Top benefits and features of the Bear Village Resort in Pigeon Forge include:

  • A convenient, climate-controlled return to nature – Guests can engage with the outdoors and the natural environment throughout the resort. Adventure and education will create memories of a lifetime.
  • Wilderness education — An exclusive bear and indigenous wildlife rescue, recovery, and re-entry habitat featuring the Bear edutainment experience. 
  • Adventure Park — Features climbing, sliding, zipping, and exploring for all ages. Fly across the park’s Zip Coaster and reach speeds of up to 30 mph while zooming across this exciting course.
  • Waterpark fun – Visit the tropics for a day of waves, surfing, thrilling slides, and great food.
  • Built for speed – It’s a high-speed thrill for all ages with state-of-the-art Karts on a racing course that is built for speed. Guests can learn to race or just enjoy the excitement of driving fast.
  • Luxury accommodations — Treat yourself to all of the comforts of the finest, world-class resorts that are fit for a king or queen.
  • Dining adventure — Embark on a dining adventure with restaurants to fit every mood and taste. Whet your appetite in the resort’s highly themed restaurants, from the finest cuisine to a sports bar featuring all of the action.

“The bear rehabilitation center is very unique and is greatly needed in the Pigeon Forge area,” Haynes said. “The educational aspects of wildlife and their environment will also be greatly appealing to our guests. As they travel through each adventure, their resort passport will be stamped and they will be prepared to learn and grow into the next one.”

With the resort currently in the design phase, Haynes said they have been able to address the impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic on their plans by incorporating innovative technology and design features to keep their guests safe.

“We have every opportunity to feature the latest technology in air handling and filtration,” Haynes said. “This will include the introduction of more outside fresh air, HEPA filtration, and a much higher air turnover rate than is currently the norm. We will include anti-microbial surfaces where possible and add more places for handwashing and sanitation.”

He added that the resort further plans on capitalizing on the lessons from the pandemic by creating a family or small group-based adventure, innovative queuing, and check-in procedures that eliminate or integrate lines into the experience.

“The architecture will be designed around creating open airy spaces with lots of natural sunlight,” he said. “Common area and lodging will incorporate more advanced air handling and filtration throughout the resort that introduces more outside air into the environment.”

Developing their concept for over a decade, Haynes said that Bear Village Resorts is the culmination of his team’s extensive experience in the resort, luxury hotel, and adventure parks industries. He estimates it will take approximately one year for planning and permitting and three and a half years for project completion.

“We’ve witnessed the transition of resorts from passive relaxation to active experience-based vacationing and adventure resorts,” Haynes said. “The consumer market is much more interested in a unique experience than they have ever been before and we recognize there is an opportunity to pioneer the industry.”

Haynes was inspired by the idea for Bear Village Resorts while working on a project in Gatlinburg, TN where he was intrigued by both the high visitor traffic and the natural beauty of the area. After years of additional research and producing a feasibility study, he added that they discovered that 50% of the people traveling to the area were actively seeking a live bear experience. This convinced him and his team that they could create a new style of the resort that would deliver a next-level guest experience.

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