Sale, book signings to highlight GSMA’s Thanksgiving weekend

Nov 27, 2013
Great Smoky Mountains Association sales associate Dan Paulin straightens a shelf full of Clingmans Dome T-shirt in preparation for a four-day holiday weekend sale starting on Thanksgiving and continuing until the visitor center closes for winter.

With the Thanksgiving weekend upon us, Great Smoky Mountains Association plans to say “thank you” to national park visitors with several special activities in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.


Fast becoming a much-anticipated tradition in the park, GSMA will hold a sale on select merchandise at its Clingmans Dome store location, one of the newest and most popular visitor centers in the park.

“Before the Clingmans Dome Information Center closes for the season at 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1, we’re inviting park visitors to help us celebrate the end of another great year with a Dome blow-out sale starting on Thanksgiving Day,” said GSMA Marketing and Membership Director Lisa Duff. “All four days of the extra long holiday weekend above 6,000 feet will feature sales prices, hot drinks, refreshments and more.”

All Dome-related merchandise will be offered at a 15-percent savings this weekend, she said. “Honestly, we could really use the public’s help. The more you purchase in support of the Smokies, the less we have to put into winter hibernation.”

In addition to the Dome sale, fans of retired National Park Service ranger Kim DeLozier will have two opportunities to meet him at books signings planned during the holiday weekend. Author of the recently published book, “Bear in the Back Seat,” DeLozier’s stories bring to life his work with Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s wildlife.

With “Bear in the Back Seat” readers get the real, often hilarious, story from the man who lived it, said Duff. “For example, in Kim's world when sedated wild black bears wake up unexpectedly in the back seat of a helicopter in mid-flight - or in his car as he's driving down the highway, or in his office while he's talking on the phone - it's just another day in the park.”

DeLozier will sign his books from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Oconaluftee Visitor Center near Cherokee, N.C., the day after Thanksgiving on Friday, Nov. 29. He’ll make a second holiday appearance from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30 and give a short talk about his adventures as a wildlife ranger at Sugarlands Visitor Center near Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Great Smoky Mountains Association, the oldest nonprofit funding partner of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, was severely impacted by the Oct. 1-15 partial government shutdown. “Because the shutdown occurred during our busiest month for sales and at a time when our warehouse bulges with inventory, the impact will diminish our ability to help the park far into the future,” said GSMA Executive Director Terry Maddox. “GSMA lost more than $550,000 in revenue at our park stores, money that can’t easily be made up.”

Those who wish to enrich their national park experience are encouraged to become GSMA members. For more information about GSMA’s membership and volunteer opportunities, visit or call 888.898.9102, Ext. 222 or 254.