Tourism Enhancement Grants Awarded To 25 Tennessee Communities

Monday, April 16, 2018

 The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development and Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development announced 25 communities will receive more than $1.5 million in the third round of Tourism Enhancement Grants to assist with tourism infrastructure assets.

The two agencies partnered to assist counties and cities improve local tourism assets to increase the economic impact of their communities. Tourism Enhancement Grants are designed for cities and counties seeking to invest in local tourism infrastructure assets, such as stages, signage, enhancement to attractions or venues and other resources that target expanding local tourism.

“Assisting a partner in shoring up a tourism asset is critical to rural areas,” Commissioner Kevin Triplett, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development said. “Tourism development is economic development and in some rural areas, tourism is a main industry. We appreciate our partnership with TNECD and the willingness that team has to invest in upgrades that not only increase opportunities for visitation but enhance the quality of life for the citizens of these communities.”

The Tourism Enhancement Grant program, in its third round, is funded through the Rural Economic Opportunity Act, which is designed to improve the economic indicators in rural communities across Tennessee. Each application was supported by the community’s senator and representative in the Tennessee General Assembly.

“Tourism is one of the most important economic drivers in many Tennessee communities, and in partnership with the Department of Tourist Development, we want to continue to help communities promote and grow their tourism assets,” Commissioner Bob Rolfe, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development said. “In the first two rounds of the program, more than $2 million was awarded to nearly 60 projects across the state. I congratulate the 25 communities selected in the third round as these projects will have a profound and lasting impact on Tennessee’s tourism infrastructure.”

“We have seen an incredible amount of positive activity happening throughout the state thanks to the passage of the Rural Economic Opportunity Act, and the tourism enhancement grants are no exception,” Amy New, TNECD assistant commissioner of Rural Development, said. “I am proud of these 25 communities for proactively taking the necessary steps to improve their tourism assets, which will in turn strengthen Tennessee’s economic development efforts.”

An advisory committee made up of staff from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and the Tennessee Department of Agriculture selected the 25 communities out of 39 grant applications.

The grants awarded include:

·         City of Oak Ridge -  $56,250

·         Town of Wartrace - $53,900

·         City of McKenzie - $71,250

·         Carter County - $51,400

·         Town of Alamo - $35,000

·         Decatur County- $75,000

·         City of Pulaski - $20,000

·         Grundy County - $75,000

·         Hardin County - $75,000

·         City of Brownsville - $57,950

·         Hickman County - $75,000

·         City of Loudon - $75,000

·         City of Jackson - $50,000

·         Marion County - $50,000

·         McMinn County -  $75,000

·         Metropolitan Lynchburg/Moore County - $75,000

·         Polk County - $75,000

·         City of Baxter - $75,000

·         City of Cross Plains - $36,250

·         Town of Smyrna - $36,000

·         Town of Huntsville - $75,000

·         Town of Carthage - $55,147

·         City of Portland - $42,450

·         Town of Erwin - $60,688

 ·         City of Martin - $75,000



All Aboard...The Chattanooga Choo Choo Rides Again

Passengers once boarded trains daily from Terminal Station at the Chattanooga Choo Choo .  Like the airport travel of our time, traveling from Chattanooga to other cities around the country by rail was the standard.  Not so today. In 1970, Terminal Station closed its 14 tracks and seven boarding platforms. Other than the occasional special event, trains haven’t ... (click for more)

Baseball Legend Cal Ripken, Jr., Music, Larger-Than-Life-Sized Balloons Highlight Pigeon Forge’s New Music In The Mountains Spring Parade On May 4

With Cal Ripken, Jr. leading the way, Pigeon Forge’s (Tennessee) new Music in the Mountains spring parade is set for May 4 at 6 p.m. (Eastern) on the city’s Parkway with entries from Tennessee, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia and Georgia plus several new elements to extend the celebration into the weekend.   Mr. Ripken, a member of the National Baseball Hall ... (click for more)

McCallie Coach From 90s Who Is Now Deceased Is Accused Of Abusing Students

A McCallie School coach from the 1990s who is now deceased is being accused of abusing students at the private prep school. Two former students said Steven Lee "Steve" Carpenter sexually abused them. Carpenter was the basketball coach at McCallie for 11 seasons - through 1999. He was boys basketball coach at Ridgeland High School beginning in 2000. Carpenter was ... (click for more)

Famed Radio Broadcaster Tommy Jett Dies At 77 At His Flintstone Home

Legendary radio broadcaster Tommy Jett (Thomas Wayne Reynolds) died Wednesday in his sleep at his residence in Flintstone, Ga.   He was 77. The native of Smithville, Tn., first was heard on Chattanooga radio in 1961 when he joined WFLI. He was known for his gaudy rings and his "Hey Now" greeting. He switched to country on WDOD in the 1980s and later was on "The Legend" ... (click for more)

Pluses And Minuses Of Tennessee's New Opioid Law

It was clear when Governor Haslam announced his TN Together plan in January that lawmakers were going to do something to try to address the state’s opioid abuse epidemic. With the passage of SB 2257/HB 1831, Tennessee now has one of the most comprehensive and restrictive laws of any state.   The Tennessee Medical Association was actively engaged in the process and appreciates ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A True Tennessean

“Last week I told some Republican friends who have held high office, traditional and true Republicans, who like you are both conservative and compassionate, Christians in their personal faith and public service,” the email began. “These are Tennessee Republicans that I have known for decades, and whom I'd trust with my life and my wife … I told them that my views and values make ... (click for more)