PIGEON FORGE, Tennessee (Sept. 27, 2021) â€“ This morning, during a press conference, officials from the National Quartet Convention along with the city of Pigeon Forge and the LeConte Center made the announcement that NQC will remain at the LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge, TN through 2031 â€“ 10 more years!
A 10-year contract extension was signed today by Pigeon Forge city leaders and NQC representatives.
As part of the extended agreement, the LeConte Center also will host the NQCâ€™s Spring Break event (March 3-4, 2022) which includes two nights of Southern gospel concerts.
The NQC is a profitable economic driver for the Smoky Mountains vacation destination. Participants account for nearly 17,000 room nights each year of the seven-day event. Since 2014, NQC has delivered more than $7 million annually in consumer spending in Pigeon Forge, from visitors who frequent restaurants, lodging properties, retail establishments and attractions.
The LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge first hosted NQC in 2014. This yearâ€™s event began Sunday, Sept. 26, and continues through Oct. 2.
â€œThe annual National Quartet Convention is a significant event for both Southern gospel music fans and artists as well as the city of Pigeon Forge,â€ said Pigeon Forge Mayor David Wear. â€œEntrusting Pigeon Forge to host NQC for the next 10 years speaks volumes about the relationship that our city and this organization has fostered over the past eight years.â€
â€œThe city of Pigeon Forge and the LeConte Center have been very reliable partners over the last eight years,â€ stated Clarke Beasley, Executive Vice President of the National Quartet Convention.Â â€œWith the improvements made to the LeConte Center over the past few years both inside and outside and the facilityâ€™s continued commitment to excellence, we are confident that NQC attendees and participants will have wonderful experiences in the coming decade.â€
Pigeon Forgeâ€™s quantity and variety of accommodations, the family-friendly atmosphere, and the setting at the edge of Great Smoky Mountains National Park were major reasons for the event to come toÂ Pigeon Forge and remain major factors in selecting the host city, according to Beasley.
Opened in October 2013, the 232,000-square-foot LeConte Event Center represents a $50 million investment on behalf of the city of Pigeon Forge. The facility hosts large assembly events, trade shows and expositions, competitive events and special events. Groups from 1,500 to 12,000 attend events in the 100,500-square-foot, clear-span (no columns) exhibit space with up to 17 separate breakout rooms.
JD Sumner, a gospel music legend and former backup singer for Elvis Presley, founded the NQC in 1957 and co-produced it with James Blackwood.
The 2021 NQC lineup includes the Hoppers, Greater Vision, Mark Trammell Qt., Jim & Melissa Brady, the LeFevre Quartet, the Guardians, the Littles, Joseph Habedank, Wilburn & Wilburn, Whisnants, and many more.