Lake City used to be a bustling place. Now there are empty stores and businesses shut down. A proposed theme park could change all that, but there's one huge stipulation.
Lake City is a sleepy town off I-75 but it could soon be a happening destination. Anderson County Commissioner District 4 Tim Isbell says, "This is a new opportunity. Lake City has a proud past and bright future."
The commissioner is talking about a 20 billion dollar project that includes a brewery and distillery, interactive kids' theater, and an outdoor amphi-theater. It would all be off the Lake City exit. Plus, in downtown Lake City an indoor/outdoor water park and resort with a restaurant that looks like a ship-wreck and seats 700.
Joan Martin says, "It would bring money to our town and our town needs a facelift."
In addition to the theme park, they also want to change the name of the city. It used to be called Coal Creek and then when the dam was built they renamed it Lake City and now they want to call it Rocky top.
That's right. Rocky Top. The man behind the idea also the owner of Rocky Top bottling wants to change the name of Lake City to Rocky Top.
Rocky Top Products General Manager Buddy Warren says, "We looked around and there wasn't a Rocky Top, Tennessee. So low and behold we thought there should be one somewhere."
Buddy tells me unless the name changes the deal is off. Joan Martin says, "Honestly I'm not crazy about the idea. When you've lived here all your life, why change it."
Commissioners say the people they've spoken with love the idea. Isbell says, "After the meeting, there were so many people who said they would like to change it to Rocky Top."
The brewery, theme park and theater would create as many as 200 jobs and bring in an estimated 50 million dollars a year. None of this can happen unless lake city becomes Rocky Top.
The Lake City Town Council will hold a public meeting to talk about changing the cities name. Then the council will vote on it. We'll stay on top of this one and let you know what happens.