Information from WYSH Radio
Lake City residents who want more information about a proposal to change their city’s name to Rocky Top as the first step toward the creation of an amusement destination with a water park, restaurant, and theaters tied together by the area’s coal mining history will get a chance to get that information and share their opinions during a public meeting scheduled for Friday, Nov. 1, at 6 p.m. in the Family Life Center of Main Street Baptist Church.
The Lake City Council will consider the name change on Thursday, Nov. 7. If approved, the change would have to be approved by the General Assembly.
As we have reported, the project could include a 3-D interactive theater, a year-round water park, and a restaurant designed to look like a shipwrecked boat along Coal Creek. Supporters say it could create around 200 jobs and generate as much as $50 million a year in revenue.
The first part of the project would likely be built on the current site of the George Templin ballfield with a new recreation facility to be constructed elsewhere in the city. The second phase would include a theme park on a nearby tract of land.
Investors have said the project cannot move forward without the name change, which they say would be a big draw for tourists.
The initial idea came from Knoxville businessman Buddy Warren, whose initial vision called for a brewery and distillery as part of the development. He was seriously injured in an auto accident a few weeks ago, so that part of the plan has been put on hold until he gets back on his feet.
If approved, it would be the second name change in the city’s history as it was known as Coal Creek until the construction of Norris Dam in the 1930s. So far, most people seem to be in favor of the name change and what it could lead to in the future.
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