SLADE, Ky. (WKYT) –
Advocates and proponents of a proposed resort in the Red River Gorge gathered together for a Town Hall meeting. (Photo: WKYT/Shelby Lofton)
Preliminary plans have been announced to develop a resort at the Red River Gorge.
People behind the plans say there isn’t a design, site, or construction firm for the project yet, which includes more than 100 rooms, private cabins, a pool, and more.
While there is no set location, developers do have their sights set on nearly 900 acres of privately owned land.
Even in its undeveloped stage, however, the proposal is drawing a lot of strong opinions on both sides, prompting a Town Hall meeting on Thursday hosted by the Red River Economic Development Group (RRED.)
At the meeting, business and landowners took their questions and concerns to county judges and the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.
Hot topics in the room included the ecological impact the resort could have, increased traffic, a lack of potential resort employees, and how they would be trained. Despite a lot of differing opinions about the development, all were in agreement that they do not want the area to resemble Gatlinburg.
Some in the room were glad to be included in the conversation, while others felt it was a late invitation to a controversial discussion.
"I also feel good that they're getting locals involved because that's who it concerns. Tourism is a big deal in this area and it's all we got actually," commented Wolfe County resident, J.C. Brooks.
"The people that come to hike, it's going to be more traffic, and to people that are going to be staying at this lodge, they're not going to bring any money into the red, so I don't see it as a benefit at all to us locally," said Mike Fitzgerald, of Powell County.
The board says the next step is signing with a construction firm. Chamber president Dave Adkinson says he hopes to have one nailed down by Oct. 31.
The RRED says they plan to have a minimum of four Town Hall meetings and say they will post updates on their website. They’re encouraging everyone who has an interest in the project to email them.