LAKE CITY—Just hours before a historic vote to change this town’s name for the second time in less than a century, Lake City Mayor Tim Sharp received a legal letter warning him that a proposal to build a Rocky Top theme park here could violate trademark rights and should be dropped.
But project supporters packed City Hall on Thursday, and the Lake City Council pressed on, voting 4-0 to recommend changing the name of this former coal mining town to Rocky Top. It’s the first step in a project to build a multi-million dollar theme park that could include an interactive Knotty Pine 3-D theater, water park, hotel, and restaurant.
The last-minute letter from an intellectual property attorney in Nashville could have Lake City officials and the park’s investors scrambling to answer legal questions. The notice was “very unexpected,” Sharp said. [Read more…]