Opposition develops to demolishing Henry Horton State Park Inn

Marshall County residents are rallying to preserve the inn at Henry Horton State Park, which is scheduled to be demolished under the governor’s budget proposal for the coming year and two legislators representing the county are trying to help, reports the Marshall County Tribune.

As it stands, Governor Bill Haslam’s proposed budget for 2017-18 includes $10.05 million for capital projects at the park, but is missing the approximately $6.7 million that TDEC asked for to renovate the inn at the park.

The budget request includes, among other projects, funding to build a new restaurant and visitor center at the park, but, as it is currently written, would demolish the 60-room inn, without replacement. The request would leave the 12-room motel facility at the park as well as the five cabins that the park offers.

“I’m hoping we can intervene,” (Rep. Rick) Tillis said. “It’s early in the budget and I think that we might be able to get this back in.”

State Senator Jim Tracy, who was also in attendance, emphasized as well that budget discussions were still ongoing and that feedback from meetings like this one would play a part in final decisions.

…Upwards of 60 people attended the meeting, including several county commissioners as well as elected officials from both Chapel Hill and Lewisburg, as well as members of the Friends of Henry Horton group.

“It’s more than I expected, all word of mouth,” Tillis said. “It shows how important (preserving the inn) is.”

…Generally, sentiment among the speakers was that the state was being shortsighted by considering demolition of the inn, which would impact the entire county economically.

…The state’s turn toward demolition in this budget runs counter to the recommendations of a report, commissioned by TDEC, published in August of 2016. The 115-page market study from a consulting firm specialized in the lodging industry supported the renovation of the inn, as opposed to either demolition or the construction of a new facility.

“Our research found that there is high lodging demand in the greater market. A repositioned or new facility at Henry Horton should be competitive with that market and see an increase in demand,” summarized the report.

The study found the inn building in relatively good structural condition, meaning renovation instead of more expensive reconstruction was possible.

 

The study was positive about the potential for the hospitality operations at the park once the investment had been made.

6 Responses to Opposition develops to demolishing Henry Horton State Park Inn

  • Cannoneer2 says:

    Find a way for the Governor’s cronies to make a pile of money off of it, and it will be preserved.

  • Becky says:

    Save our Henry Horton Inn !!

  • Neva D. Stewart says:

    We need to save the inn. Henry Horton State Park is a very busy place and a very calming place and loved by all

  • Shirley Brown says:

    Please, asking help to keep OUR beloved Henry Horton Park Inn. This so important to Chapel Hill ND the surrounding cities, with all the events, and activities that is going on during all the year.
    The Walkng Horse Champianship, The Largest Tractor pull in Chapel Hill, and others. The people need this Inn to come, also the visitors that plan their vacations. There is also several Company’s that book their annual meetings,
    We have been so blessed to have Henry Horton Park in our area: shelters for parties, picnics, walking trails, cabins, golf course, swimming pool, basketball courts, and so much more.
    Having the Inn is the most important for All! Thank you.

  • Shirley Brown says:

    Help us keep Henry Horton State Park Inn!!!!

  • Pat Stewart says:

    One only has to down the Nolensville corridor from Old Hickory Blvd to Chapel Hill to see the amount of new construction, both residential and commercial, which is an indicator that Nashville is growing south. This is in anticipation of the widening of Nolensville Highway which will only encourage more growth. The north end of Marshall County is seeing tremendous growth in hw housing developments as well as expansion of existing development. The school system has experienced the addition of new classrooms and a hew intermediate school to accommodate this growth. Henry Horton State Park, as an existing park, has long served the community. It needs the update and new construction to meet this new demand that this growth will put on it existing facilities. An up-to-date inn and a restaurant large enough to serve inn occupants and the community are key to this.

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