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Gatlinburg, Tenn., GOs Raised to AA by S&P

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said it raised its long-term and underlying rating (SPUR) to AA from AA-minus on Gatlinburg, Tenn.'s existing general obligation (GO) debt.

At the same time, Standard & Poor's assigned its AA long-term rating the city's series 2012 GO bonds. The outlook on all ratings is stable.

"The raised ratings reflect our view of the city's strong financial performance despite the national recession and its stable tourism sector, due to visitors' ability to reach the Great Smoky Mountains by car," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Sarah Smaardyk.

Gatlinburg is located in Sevier County (AA-minus GO rating) in eastern Tennessee along the border of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which is the U.S.'s most-frequented national park with more than 9 million annual visitors.

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