A federal judge on Wednesday denied for now a request to stop Lake City from changing its name to Rocky Top.
The preliminary injunction had been requested by House of Bryant Publications LLC, the Gatlinburg publisher of “Rocky Top,” a well-known bluegrass song closely identified with the University of Tennessee and its Volunteers athletics program.
The Lake City Council could reconsider the name change as early as June. The council endorsed the name change in November, and it was approved by the Tennessee General Assembly this year in a bill that has already been signed by Gov. Bill Haslam. Anderson County Commissioner Tim Isbel has said Lake City could become Rocky Top on July 3 under the new state law.
Isbel is president of Rocky Top Tennessee Marketing and Manufacturing Co. That company has proposed a development that could be worth up to $450 million over six years and include an indoor and outdoor water park, coal miners theater, children’s museum, train rides, restaurant, and a candy company on some 300 acres near two exits off Interstate 75. Officials have said it could bring 200 new jobs to Lake City and generate another $6 million in sales tax per year. But the project hinges on the name change. [Read more…]