Author Archives: Pete

Press Release – Townsend Gateway Inn – Top 10 Green Properties in U.S.


Travel Planning and Booking Site Identifies Top-Rated Properties Committed to Eco-Friendly Practices

NEEDHAM, Mass., April 13, 2016 – TripAdvisor®, the travel planning and booking site, today announced the top 10 eco-friendly accommodations in the U.S. These properties have all earned “Platinum” status in TripAdvisor’s GreenLeaders™ program¹ that recognizes accommodations leveraging eco-friendly practices around the globe. These top-rated businesses have delighted guests with their outstanding service, amenities and commitment to sustainability ranging from solar energy to composting and organic culinary programs, to electric car charging stations. “Travelers seeking out eco-friendly hotels should look no further than these outstanding green properties that come highly recommended by the TripAdvisor community,” said Brooke Ferencsik, senior director of communications for TripAdvisor. “Travelers can feel good about booking a stay at one of these accommodations knowing that they leverage sustainable measures to reduce the impact on the environment, while still providing an exceptional guest experience.”
Top 10 Green Properties in the U.S:
1. The Gardens Hotel – Key West, Florida
2. Bardessono – Yountville, California
3. Hilton Garden Inn Fayetteville/Fort Bragg – Fayetteville, North Carolina
4. ARIA Sky Suites – Las Vegas, Nevada
5. Ponte Vineyard Inn – Temecula, California
6. Cedar Glen Lodge – Tahoe Vista, California
7. Allison Inn & Spa – Newberg, Oregon
8. Post Ranch Inn – Big Sur, California


9. Townsend Gateway Inn – Townsend, Tennessee – Bookable on TripAdvisor for an average nightly rate of $106. Most affordable month to visit: December ($104 per night) Conveniently located near the popular Great Smoky Mountains National Park, this quaint accommodation is ideal for travelers looking to explore the outdoors. The 17-room property’s commitment to sustainability is evident through its green practices including a linen reuse program, Energy Star appliances, organic “Fair Trade” food and sustainable living education provided to guests. “I booked this property because of the reviews and it didn’t disappoint. We were allowed to check in early and were made to feel right at home. The room was updated and super clean and the staff was very friendly and caring,” shared a TripAdvisor reviewer.


10. Hotel Floyd – Floyd, Virginia


¹The TripAdvisor GreenLeaders program aims to help travelers around the world plan greener trips by highlighting accommodations engaging in environmentally friendly practices. Travelers interested in planning and booking an eco-friendly trip, and hoteliers interested in joining the TripAdvisor GreenLeaders program, can find more information at:

Inducted into TripAdvisor Hall of Fame


Inducted into ‘Hall of Fame’ of Five-time Certificate of Excellence Winners on the World’s Largest Travel Site

Townsend, TN – 26 May, 2015 Townsend Gateway Inn a family owned and operated motel today announced that it has been recognized as a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence Hall of Fame winner. The Certificate of Excellence award celebrates excellence in hospitality and is given only to establishments that consistently achieve great traveler reviews on TripAdvisor. The ‘Hall of Fame’ was created to honor those businesses that have earned a Certificate of Excellence for five consecutive years. Winners include accommodations, eateries and attractions located all over the world that have continually delivered a superior customer experience.

“Being awarded the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence five years in a row and inducted into the ‘Hall of Fame’ is a true source of pride for the entire team at Townsend Gateway Inn and we’d like to thank all of our past guests who took the time to complete a review on TripAdvisor,” said Pete Girard, Owner at Townsend Gateway Inn. “There is no greater seal of approval than being recognized by one’s customers. With the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence based on customer reviews, the accolade is a remarkable vote of confidence to our business and our continued commitment to excellence.”

“Winning the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for five consecutive years is a remarkable feat. TripAdvisor is pleased to induct five-time award winners into the ‘Hall of Fame’,” said Marc Charron President, TripAdvisor for Business. “By putting a spotlight on businesses that are focused on consistently delivering great service to customers, TripAdvisor not only helps drive an improvement to hospitality standards around the world, it also gives businesses both large and small the ability to shine and stand out from the competition.”

When selecting Certificate of Excellence winners, TripAdvisor uses a proprietary algorithm to determine the honorees that takes into account the quality, quantity and recency of reviews and opinions submitted by travelers on TripAdvisor over a 12-month period as well as business’s tenure and ranking on the Popularity Index on the site. To qualify, a business must maintain an overall TripAdvisor bubble rating of at least four out of five, have a minimum number of reviews and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months.

Townsend Gateway Inn, A family owned and operated motel.


Great Smoky Mountain Synchronous Fireflies

The Fireflies are back!

It’s official. The Synchronous Firefly season will start on Tuesday, June 3rd and continue thru Tuesday, June 9th. All reservations for this week will include free shuttle service to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park to view the Fireflies.

If you have not seen the Synchronous Fireflies you need to add it to your bucket list.

Fall Foliage

Hopped in the Miata, put the top down and checked out the fall foliage today. Left the motel and drove through the back roads of Wears Valley to Pigeon Forge, up the Gatlinburg Bypass over Newfound Gap via 441 and then the Blue Ridge Parkway . The best color was on the back mountain roads from Wears Valley to Pigeon Forge and the Gatlinburg bypass, bright yellows, rich golds and orange with a hint of red. Continuing up Hwy 441 the colors appeared around the Alum Cave Bluffs trailhead and continued up through Newfound Gap. The Blue Ridge parkway appeared to be in the early stages of color change, mostly yellows and not as vibrant.

A whopper of a fish story

21" Brown Trout

Brown Trout caught in the Great Smoky Mountains

Well, I like the Smoky Mountains a lot and I love the Townsend area.

My family and I have made 5 different trips landing in Townsend exploring and fly fishing the National Park.  We usually camp in the park, but this time we were brining our dog.  We stayed at the Townsend Gateway Inn and had our best trip ever.  On the 2nd  day I caught a brown trout in the Little River that went just over 21” .   I caught the fish 8 minutes from my front door at Townsend Gateway Inn –  10 minutes and the fishing would have perhaps been even better.  We stayed  2 weeks at Gateway Inn.  I caught lots of native trout during our stay.  It was a blast !   Everyday we counted our good fortune that we staying at the Townsend Gateway Inn – as the staff were so kind, helpful and the place was so pleasant.  A home away from home.  We had a great time and plan to return soon.

August 16, 2013

Gerry Morehead
New York City


I’d never leave my heart in San Francisco – but I might leave it in Townsend!