New Tenn. RV Resort to Become a Destination
Two Knoxville businessmen expect a new Norris Lake resort that includes a full-service marina, RV park and floating restaurant to become a favorite haunt for locals and a destination stop for vacationers from nearby states.
According to owners Mike Cox and Jimmy Rodefer, the $3.5 million Norris Lake Marina & RV Park, which will open in three stages beginning in March, will be a haven for recreational enthusiasts and a boon to the Claiborne County economy, the Knoxville News-Sentinel reported.
“It’s very exciting and fun, but there are a lot of moving parts to it and we’ve got a lot to learn,” said Rodefer, who expects to have about 50 employees once the resort is up and running.
“We have a lot of avid boaters in East Tennessee, and you’ll find that there’s a surprising number of people who enjoy Norris Lake that are not from Tennessee and Kentucky.
“There are a tremendous amount of people from Michigan, Ohio and Indiana who come here. This is kind of like their Myrtle Beach.”
Cox likewise said the goal is to make the resort a hot spot for both locals and out-of-state visitors.
“There are many, many people in northern and Midwestern states who want a place within relatively easy driving distance where they can get away, enjoy the water, relax in an inviting marina or RV park, and experience Tennessee’s climate, scenery, attractions and hospitality,” said Cox.
“Additionally, with the popularity of boating on Norris Lake, our marina will be attractive to Tennessee boat owners. And everyone can enjoy an evening out with a truly unique area restaurant.”
Rodefer said the 170-slip marina, ship store and 23-space RV park is scheduled to open in mid-March. The marina has the capacity to eventually house 400 slips and will also offer pontoon and ski boat rentals.
Jimmy’s Place — a 4,000-square-foot floating restaurant with a seating capacity of 100 that Rodefer described as “upscale-casual” in terms of food and environment — is slated to open its doors in April.
“It’ll have a sports-bar feel to it,” said Rodefer.
“We’ll have 26 big-screen TVs. Half of the bar sits inside and the other half is outside.”
The restaurant’s menu will run the gamut from appetizers to steaks. The restaurant will also be “beer only, for the time being,” according to Rodefer.
“We’ve got glass garage doors at the restaurant that we’ll open up, weather permitting,” said Rodefer. “The view is beautiful.”
Rental cottages should also be available by mid-May, according to Cox.
The entire resort complex sits on about 20 acres (land and water).
The resort is located about five miles from downtown Tazewell on the northern end of the Clinch side of the lake.
“We saw a need,” said Cox.
“On the LaFollette side of the lake there are some really nice marinas. On this side of the lake there really hasn’t been something new that has opened up in some time.”