Save Tennessee's Fall Creek Falls State Park and Conference Center
The "Queen of Tennessee State Parks", Fall Creek Falls, in Spencer Tennessee is under threat of being "Privatized". Fall Creek Falls is the most visited of all of Tennessee's State Parks. It is 25,000 acres of timber,virgin forests, gorges and waterfalls.
A plan is currently underway to close the Inn and Conference Center and replace it with a "sterile" more modern facility. This would maximize the conference area but diminish capacity of the hotel for families that may wish to visit and enjoy our park.
Once the old facility is demolished and the new one is built and paid for with our public tax dollars;they intend to privatize the center to allow a private company to profit from it.
The Inn and Conference Center is one of the major employers in the area of Van Buren , Bledsoe and White counties. The park is the major employer for Van Buren county.
The Inn and Conference Center at Fall Creek Falls has become an integral part of the community. It is a place for first dates, a gathering place for families and a popular wedding venue. This year over 1300 reservations for Thanksgiving were made in a county of only 5000 people.
Requirements of the request for proposals call for the new inn to have 75-95 rooms that, according to projections in the request, could be rented for $151 per night.
Rooms in the current 145-room facility, rent for $76 per night.
Because of the public response to this petition, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has "Fast Tracked" the demolition of the facility before Christmas of 2017!
We do hereby petition the Governor of Tennessee and the Legislature of this great state to intercede and prohibit the demolition of the Fall Creek Falls Inn and Conference Center and the termination of the jobs of over 100 families from this economically stressed community.
- January 15
- This is so sad! A hotel who main purpose is for access to a state park should never be privatized!!! This is a favorite destination for countless individuals and families! Please don't do this! show more
- January 12
- I am retire state employee and this park is not far from my home. I enjoy going to Fall Creek falls. Privatize this place would be definitely wrong for the county and state. This must stay with the state and stop having tax payers suffer. show more
- January 9
- Privatizing - State Parks Privatizing - Universities Privatizing - State Buildings PRIVATIZATION IS FOR PROFIT This is not in the INTEREST of the PEOPLE OF TENNESSEE show more
- January 5
- This needs to stop - contact your representative and let them know how you feel. show more
- January 4
- Everyone needs to sign this!! show more
- January 2
- This would devestate the economy for folks who live and work in and about Van Buen County show more
- December 27
- I agree with the aims of this petition as I am against privatizing any part of public lands or private parks in the state of Tennessee or anywhere else in America.. Tennessee Parks should not be for sale. You open this door, it will never close. Will just open Pandora's Box, and there will be no end to it. show more
- December 24
- Comment by Rob Mitchell December 19, 2016 at 3:16 pm There are arguments for and against privatization of government services. On the one hand proponents will tell you that private industry can manage services or projects more efficiently than the government. I will concede that in some cases that may be true. In the instance of Fall Creek Falls I do not believe that is the case. I do not believe it will cost the citizens of the communities impacted nor the State less money to demolish and privatize than to renovate and continue under state management. There will be no money saved on demolition of the facility as private contractors will be hired to do a majority of the work. They work to make a profit. Renovations on the other hand might be accomplished with employees already employed by the state. (1 point for renovation) While the facility is closed for demolition there will be no income coming in to the facility to offset costs while renovation could be done in phases.(1 point for renovation) Employees will be terminated or furloughed while the demolition is occurring impacting both disposable local income and impacting the cost to pay unemployment by the state to those employees. This would not happen in renovation.( 2 points for renovation) Once reopened the new facility would offer less space for families and couples and more space for business conferences. This inflates the price to enjoy the services and takes them out of financial reach to those most likely to use them. This is counter to the mission of our state parks.( 3 points for renovation) What we will get is a fancy and expensive conference center paid for with our tax dollars which caters to large conventions and seminars that will be too expensive for most of us to enjoy and which makes a profit for a private contractor who pays minimum wage jobs with no benefits.( how do you score that?) Not to mention that the loss of wages and sales tax revenue will negatively impact the funding model (BEP) for the area schools requiring the state to make up the difference. This will cause the taxpayers statewide to pay more than is necessary of their hard earned tax dollars to offset this loss. show more
- December 24
- Stop this now. We do not need to privatize our state parks. This needs to stop or we will watch all our state parks being given away to corporate interests, and priced out of bounds for the citizens who own them. show more
- December 23
- The question that really needs to be answered is how can you possibly save any money by paying a private company for management and have no loss of jobs, wages or benefits as the governor has stated many times. show more
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