TN Senate passes Lake City name change

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Lake City is one step closer to being called Rocky Top. State lawmakers approved the name change, and now it's up to the governor to sign off.

Legislators listened to the people of Lake City and voted yes to a Rocky Top, Tennessee. It's more than a name change. It means more businesses and revenue and it's already started.

The signs around town that say Lake City could soon say Rocky Top instead. Lake City Mayor Tim Sharp says, "There's a tremendous amount of support in Lake City and surrounding area in Anderson County."

And in Nashville, where the house unanimously approved changing the name which is a change that would open the way for a multimillion dollar theme park and resort. Mayor Sharp says, "It really gives me a feeling that the state is behind us."

Middle schoolers went to Nashville last week to convince lawmakers to do just that. They're looking forward to future job opportunities in the area. Downtown storefronts show you just how depressed Lake City's economy really is. Lake City Chamber of Commerce President Maria Hooks says, "On the chamber side, it's going to be great especially dealing with the businesses downtown. They're all positive because more traffic means more businesses and more revenue."

Some businesses have already opened up using the new name like Rocky Top Outdoors. Andrew Howard owner of Rocky Top Outdoors says, "The Rocky Top name is very fitting for our area and our community."

There's a pending lawsuit by House of Bryant Publications owned by the family of the authors of "Rocky Top" the song. They claim the name change is exploiting the song.

Now the bill goes to the governor's desk for his signature then the Lake City Council must approve it by a two-thirds vote. There's no court date yet. However, Lake City is trying to negotiate a solution right now with House of Bryant Productions.