TDEC Releases Renderings For New Fall Creek Falls State Park Inn

Friday, June 22, 2018

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) has released renderings for the new 95,700+ square foot inn, restaurant and conference center at Fall Creek Falls State Park.

“This design provides the amenities our visitors have come to expect in a way that complements the one-of-a-kind backdrop that is Fall Creek Falls,” said TDEC Deputy Commissioner Brock Hill.

“The new inn, restaurant and conference center will serve as a symbol of the commitment by Governor Haslam and the Tennessee General Assembly to revitalize our state park system and sustain rural economic development for the future.”

The early design phase, which was approved by the State Building Commission on June 14, evokes the natural setting of the park, with timber framing, stonework details and extended height windows.

Highlights include three floors of visitor space complete with a mix of doubles, kings and suites; various indoor and outdoor gathering areas including larger meeting and conference space; and paths connecting the facility to existing recreational trails.

“The inn is designed to provide spacious views of the lake and of the park’s natural forest that will evoke long-lasting memories for visitors,” said Earl Swensson Associates’ Ron Lustig, principal-in-charge of the project. “We are honored to have the opportunity to contribute to the experience of nature at one of the state’s premier parks.”

The restaurant will face out towards Fall Creek Lake, providing scenic waterside views with updated options including full-service, fast-casual and buffet. Guests can enjoy a dining area on the terrace, banquet space and a bar/lounge.

The $29.4 million facility will enhance visitors’ experience and serve as a catalyst for economic growth in the region.

“This is great news for Fall Creek Falls State Park, which is the premier park for Tennessee and an economic driver for Van Buren County,” said Rep. Cameron Sexton. “The addition of a new inn, with the other $15 million in upgrades and 1.6 million annual visitors, will move the park from a one-day family trip to a weekend or week-long family getaway.”

“Fall Creek Falls is a Tennessee treasure for local citizens and visitors alike and the jewel of our state park system,” said Senator Paul Bailey. “It is an impressive piece of our state’s exceptional landscape and I’m proud that we were able to make this investment to enrich our community for many generations to come.”

The new inn and restaurant is forecasted to generate $278,000 per year in sales and occupancy taxes – a growth of $90,000 per year compared to revenue from the previous facility. In the short term, construction activity will bring an estimated $14.7 million in construction-related taxable spending to the area along with more than 100 construction jobs.

Construction is slated to begin this fall/winter, with completion expected in 2020.



Rome, Ga., Has Inaugural Hot Air Balloon Festival

Rome, Ga., held its inaugural hot air balloon festival over the weekend at the Richard B. Russell Regional Airport. There were over 20 balloons present.   Over 70 vendors were present, ranging from food to Italian ice to crafts.   Tethered balloon rides were offered and a moon glow even topped off the evening. . (click for more)

Blowing Springs Farm Opens Sept. 28

Blowing Springs Farm opens Sept. 28 with an all-new corn maze design and new supersized board games, like jumbo checkers and giant dice. The award-winning event’s 17th season is happening every Friday - Sunday through Oct. 28, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.    Adults and kids alike can enjoy classic fall festival activities such as a pumpkin market, hayrides, duck races, pedal ... (click for more)

10-Term Congresswoman Marilyn Lloyd Dies

Marilyn Lloyd, who represented the Third District in Congress for 10 terms, has died at the age of 89. Ms. Lloyd got into politics after her husband, TV anchor Mort Lloyd, was killed in a plane crash in 1974. Mort Lloyd had won the Democratic primary to oppose Rep. Lamar Baker. The party chose her to go on the ballot in his place, and she defeated Congressman Baker. She was ... (click for more)

Soddy Daisy Couple Robbed Of Over $56,000 In Items; Believe Facebook Post May Have Tipped Off Thieves

A Soddy Daisy couple reported a theft at their residence netted thieves over $56,000 in items. The couple said the thieves may have picked their residence because they posted on Facebook that they were vacationing in Gatlinburg. Michael Lee Leming, 42, has been arrested in the case. However, only $10,600 of the stolen items were recovered. Leming is from Dunlap, but was ... (click for more)

Arming Teachers With Guns Will Be Too Dangerous - And Response (4)

Arming teachers with guns in the classroom, as Bill Lee proposes, would be the single most dangerous thing to happen to students in Tennessee history. Students and teachers in close proximity to loaded firearms daily? Across this state, in middle schools alone, there are probably hundreds of student/teacher conflicts a day. What if a student got hold of gun in a struggle with ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Dumb Ain’t A Crime

As half of America wonders how a Texas school superintendent still has a job, the other half of the country now understands that being dumb is no crime. Minutes after the Houston Texans dropped a ugly 20-17 loss to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, an upset educator – obviously with a full head of steam -- pounded this sentence out on his Facebook page: “That may have been the most ... (click for more)