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Why Relocate to Blount County, TN?

Find out what swayed a major manufacturer to choose this hidden gem nestled near the Smoky Mountains.

By Bill Lewis on July 26, 2022

Rendering of Smith & Wesson campus in Blount County, TN
Smith & Wesson

Employees at Smith & Wesson’s new campus in Maryville will have unobstructed views of the Smoky Mountains, but there’s a long list of additional advantages that come with the job.

They include all the benefits of Blount County’s standout quality of life, great schools, unlimited outdoor recreation and a low cost of living in a family-friendly community.

“Blount County has the nation’s most visited national park, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, in its backyard. More than 14.1 million visitors trekked into the park in 2021. It has become a year-round destination for visitors from all over the world,” says Bryan Daniels, president and CEO of the Blount Partnership.

Smith & Wesson, the U.S.-based leader in firearms manufacturing and design, announced it is relocating its headquarters and other major operations from Springfield, Massachusetts, to Maryville. The project represents an investment of approximately $125 million and will create 750 jobs.

Bicentennial Greenbelt Park in Blount County, TN
Jeff Adkins

“One of the best assets is an expansive greenway system that connects the Alcoa and Maryville communities and will soon be extended to Knoxville. The greenway is currently over 14 miles in length and the vision is to grow it from Knoxville to Townsend.”

Bryan Daniels, president and CEO of the Blount Partnership

Industry Growth

In addition to its headquarters, Smith & Wesson is relocating its distribution, assembly and plastic injection molding operations to Tennessee. The company joins more than 20 small arms and ammunition manufacturers in Tennessee. The state ranks No. 1 in the nation for employment in the small arms and ammunition sector, which saw employment increase by 54% over the past five years.

Smith & Wesson’s campus takes up the entire 240-acre Partnership Park North business park, set amid gently rolling hills surrounded by pine and oak trees with an unobstructed view of the Smoky Mountains. McGhee Tyson Airport is less than 10 minutes away.

Blount County checked all the boxes for Smith & Wesson. The unparalleled quality of life was an important factor.

Grains & Grits Festival in Blount County, Tennessee
Tassi Williams

Live, Work, Play

The schools rank among the top in the state for college readiness as well as certified technical education. Schools make a point of graduating students ready to join the workforce.

There’s more to life than work, and Blount County checks that box, too, with year-round events.

New Place to Pedal

One of the newest additions for the outdoor adventurist is the opening of the Vee Hollow trails in Townsend, which offers 14 miles of mountain biking trails. It is free to use and open year-round.

“There are a number of annual family-friendly festivals that contribute to the well-being of the community. Starting in the spring, the Bigfoot Festival kicks things off in Townsend, while the Scottish Festival and Games has been going strong in this area for more than 10 years,” Daniels says.

“Summer on Broadway and the Hops in the Hills Craft Beer Festival, along with the Great Smoky Mountains Hot Air Balloon Festival make summertime even more enjoyable. The fall sees Taste of Blount, the Townsend Bluegrass Festival, and Grains & Grits Festival bring something for anyone desiring to be outdoors.”

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