Campground Remains Open; Awaits Development
More than six months after it was repossessed and ultimately auctioned, Rarity Club west of Chattanooga, Tenn., still sits abandoned, awaiting a potential buyer. Just down the road, Shellmound Campground is waiting as well, waiting for some word of their fate, according to the Jasper Journal, South Pittsburg, Tenn.
“I’m just the little guy in the middle,” said Shellmound Campground owner Mickey Rose. “But they can’t close us until they have a buyer who is ready to develop down here.”
Rarity Developers acquired the lakeside property that houses the campground in a land swap with TVA back in 2005. The park and the campground were to be relocated further down the coast to make room for the planned Rarity Club Marina.
Today, the only signs of the marina that may have been are the stacks of building materials still lining the parking areas and sand volleyball court of Shellmound.
According to Rose, the popular campsite has suffered a bit of a decline since Rarity developers bought the property five years ago.
“There was a decline this year from the year before,” said Rose. “I’m sure the economy is a factor but a lot of people just think we’re closed. We’re not. We are open and will remain so.”
At present, and according to an agreement with TVA, if a developer fails to come forward, relocate Rose’s business and develop the park/campground by June 2011 the land will revert to TVA ownership and Shellmound Campground will stay put.
“In the last conversation I had with (TVA), Greenbank is actively looking for a buyer but hasn’t found one yet,” said Rose. “It would be nice if Greenbank would say if they were or were not going to sell by the deadline.”
According to TVA Media Relations spokesman Scott Brooks, all original agreements are continuing to be honored,
“Nothing set forth in the deed has changed. TVA is working with the current owner, Greenbank, to address the requirements in the deed and answer any questions they have in reference to the residential development of the land,” stated Brooks in an e-mail.
Until June 2011, it appears Shellmound Campground will remain in limbo.
“It will have been six years that we’ve had to deal with this,” said Rose. “But it has never been to the point where we were going to be closed, (a buyer) would just have to relocate us. I just hope that’s not the case.”