By Leslie Agron and Pat Fain
Not so much the old Holiday Inn on South Illinois Avenue next to the Skyway Drive-In Theater (with movie sound piped into the facing motel rooms!), nor even our newest hostelry on Tulsa Road… We’re reaching back to the 1942 Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire flick called “Holiday Inn” in a blatant attempt to stretch a holiday tie-in. With terrific Irving Berlin music, including “White Christmas,” for which it won an Oscar for Best Original Song, they sing and dance their way through the plot: “At an inn which is only open on holidays, a crooner and a hoofer vie for the affections of a beautiful up-and-coming performer.”
Coincidentally, another 1942 event was the founding of Oak Ridge as a part of the Manhattan Project.
Often in our vision for “Something Else” for the economic revitalization of Oak Ridge we have mentioned that this city could greatly benefit from serious development of the visitor portion of our economy. This is a proposal for additional lodging in Oak Ridge to forward that end. We need to take a long, hard look at the characteristics of what is available now versus what it would take to appeal to people coming here simply to visit.