GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WATE) – What is it like to cross the Gatlinburg SkyBridge for the first time?
Here is what Gatlinburg SkyLife marketing coordinator Marcus Watson says:
“One of the first things you experience when you walk on that bridge is you feel safe. I’m almost 6’3″ and the rails come up close to my shoulders. So, you feel secure.
“You’re walking out there and having a great time. The whole time you see this discoloration out in the middle and it’s like, I wonder what that is, and you get up to it and you see these three panels of glass, 15 feet long.
“It’s just human nature for you to stop and say, wait a minute, I’m about to walk on this or I’m going to go back. But as soon as you step on it and see how secure it is — it can actually hold more weight than the wooden panels can — you’re safe and secure, you’re ready to go.”
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Watson had worked at Gatlinburg SkyLift since high school. He takes pride in working for one of the oldest attractions in Gatlinburg, and now marketing its newest. He’s thrilled to see the attraction is getting national attention. But he’s even happier to see the Gatlinburg and the region get a spotlight.
WATE’s Blake Stevens was one of the first journalists to cross the bridge. Here’s how it felt to him:
“When you hop off the SkyLife and make your way to the gateway of the SkyBridge, your first thought is: ‘I’m actually here, am I going to do this?’
This is when your inner-chicken reaches greater heights. After you take a couple of steps you realize, it isn’t so bad.
— Blake Stevens
“This is when your inner-chicken reaches greater heights. After you take a couple of steps you realize, it isn’t so bad. In fact, my first impression was the bridge is incredibly sturdy.
“Granted, the wind was calm my first time on the bridge. It’s also equipped with multiple stabilizers to safeguard against the wind. After you’re about a quarter the way through, the view of the mountains overshadows any anxiety you have about being 140 feet off the ground.
“The views are amazing and are sure to make the trip worth it for you and your family. I was incredibly nervous about dropping my cell phone. If I were a betting man, I’d say there is a zero percent chance of retrieving it.
“When you see the glass panels, it’s pretty cool. When you step onto them, it’s terrifying. After a few seconds of looking down, if you’re like me, you’re ready to get back on solid ground. Altogether, it’s an amazing experience. As they say, 10 out of 10, would definitely recommend!”