Posted on January 30, 2020
The Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort Tower or the Garden Plaza Hotel Tower is another part of the resort, however, it is a separate building with its own history. This tower building is used primarily for banquets that people reserve. However, with that being said, it wasn’t always this simple. The times were much different and many people did not make it. This means that there is a lot of talk and controversy surrounding the town.
Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort
The Garden Plaza Hotel was once known as a Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort. However, most people do not know that the Sunspree Resort is just another form of Holiday Inn. It is a more in-depth version of the hotel. The Sunspree Resort portion of Holiday inn would operate from 1991 until 2010. However, the resorts were more in-depth and had pools, spas, gyms, and even activities for children. These resorts were placed in areas that had high traffic from visitors or vacationers. With that being said, Gatlinburg was a huge tourist destination so the use of a Sunspree Resort seemed fit.
The building itself is very old. It has its fair share of almost anything you can think of. Keep in mind that this building is one of the oldest still-functioning hotels in the city. With that being said, because it is so old, there are bound to be quite a few stories and tales surrounding it. We are going to talk about some of them. The stories that we are telling you are based on what the locals and visitors to the area have said. It is up to you to determine how true the stories are.
The banquet hall or what is called tower still hosts many events to this day. They have been hosting events for many years and will not stop due to a few stories. The hotel has been running many different events for years. From tournaments to formal events and everything in between.
The Haunting of Alvin
Alvin is a man who had been dedicated and had worked since the beginning. He was very dedicated and worked the kitchen in the hotel and the tower. He was a magnificent cook and was honored to be the only cook that had been hired for the job. The owners had liked and appreciated his work so much that for his thirtieth year working there, they would purchase him a present of a lifetime. They wanted him to know that he was appreciated. Alvin had always wanted a boat so naturally, this seemed like a great gift. However, this was the worst gift they could have given him. Alvin was very excited and took his new boat out on the lake as soon as he possibly could. He had taken his boat out and the first trip would be his last. The boat would sink and Alvin would drown and die. However, he is not gone.
Alvin is still said to haunt both the kitchens. He will mainly haunt the hotel kitchen, however, with more and more banquets happening, he haunts the tower’s kitchen as well. Cooks who come in to prepare the meals for banquets often hear their names being whispered in their ears. Plus, the service and preparation are not made easy because of Alvin interfering with the process. He believed that he will throw dishes across the room and cause them to break. Plus, the faucets in the tower’s kitchen will turn off and on without anyone being around them. It is believed that Alvin believes that he is the only one who should be in that kitchen. With that being said, he is not going to harm anyone who works in the kitchen, just watch out for a flying plate or two.
There was a businessman who had come into town and stayed in room 471. This happened in the warm summer of 1999. This man would walk laps around the swimming pool found close to the room he had booked for the night. He would be found here which was next to the room. The man did this for hours on end and well into the night. However, this pool would not stay open all night. When the person in charge of maintaining and closing the pool told the man that he would have to leave, he did. This would be the last time that people would see this man from room 471 again. The man did not leave his room like he was designated to the next day. This raised some alarm so a concerned maid had gone to the room to make sure he was okay. This maid would be scared for the rest of her life. She found he had killed himself. This strange man shot himself with a commonly accessible gun, more specifically a 357. This was weird because he had left 3.57 for a tip on his nightstand. Many people who stay at the hotel will often see his shadowy figure walking around the this swimming pool after dark. However, you can only see him if you are looking out your window that faces the pool. It is also said that later on during the evening as the sun is setting, you can see this man’s shadow in his window of room 471 if you look close enough.
The next incident that happened in the tower would be tragic. It would involve children. This would happen in the earlier portion of the 80s. A group of boy scouts had rented the 7th floors of the hotel. This story is hard to tell and describe because the people who were working this night do not wish to talk about this tragic event. However, with that being said we do know that there were many boy scouts on the 7th floor with their leader. However, at some point, the leader had gone psychotic. He had killed several of the young boys before he would eventually be caught.
After the Boy Scout Incident
After the boy scout incident, the area would close for the non-tourist season. Keep in mind that most hotels in Gatlinburg close during the winter because they are not busy because the tourist season is over. However, that doesn’t mean that the employees don’t have to clean and keep the building up to code.
An employee would make his rounds and checking out the building to make sure everything was okay. He would stop on the 7th floor and would hear strange noises. The employee stated that he heard screams and running. He would run through the hotel to see if there was someone playing a joke or entering without permission. However, he would find nothing because no one had rented the rooms that evening or entered the building beside him.
There have been many tragedies that have occurred in the tower of the hotel. This is just the banquet and formal portion that was used as a hotel back when it was known as Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort Tower. Today, you will find this as the Garden Plaza Hotel and this building is strictly used for banquets. The rooms of this tower are not rented out any longer. However, that doesn’t mean strange things don’t happen.
If you are going to check out this area, be sure that you are looking around for the mysterious boy scout’s screams and the strange pool man. Keep in mind that there are many other instances that have occurred. If you just ask some of the employees they will gladly tell you if anything strange has occurred lately or any tragedies. Most of the time the ghosts from the past are just making themselves known. None of the spirits that reside in the tower are said to be dangerous. With that being said, booking your event here may be wise if you like paranormal activity and the unknown.