Information from WYSH Radio
More than 400 people attended Friday night’s bean and cornbread social and informational meeting on a proposal to change the name of Lake City to Rocky Top as the first step toward the creation of a massive Rocky Top theme park.
The event was held at Main Street Baptist Church and featured a presentation from the developers of the proposed tourist destination as well as from Anderson County Property Assessor Johnny Alley, who told the crowd that property taxes would not only not go up because of the project, but if all goes as planned, residents could actually see their property taxes decline as new revenue comes in. Lake City Mayor Tim Sharp told residents that the only cost to the town will be changing the name.
The park, as proposed, would be built on land owned by the city on Highway 441 between I-75 and Highway 25. The first phase of the development would be called the Rocky Top Pavilion and would feature a theater designed to attract musical acts like those found in Branson, Mo.; an indoor-outdoor water park; and a large restaurant. Developers also envision a sports hall of fame and museum.
The project cannot go forward, according to developers, without the town changing its name, due to the huge marketing opportunity the name change represents.
The city has two exits off of I-75, which is what initially attracted the developers to the area.
The Lake City Council is expected to vote on whether to officially endorse the name change on Thursday, and if it is approved, the name change would have to be approved by the state legislature when it heads back in to session in Nashville in January.
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