A plan for a multi-million dollar hotel and convention center on Lookout Mountain is in the works. Walker County officials met with the public Monday to unveil plans and talk about how they will pay for it. They say they have $15 million in federal stimulus bonds to help foot the bill.
The Walker County Development Authority has been working for more than two years on the 150-room hotel and convention center slated for Canyon Ridge.They say they are continuing to seek private investors to buy $36 million dollars worth of bonds. Residents say they fear they will have to pay to back those bonds if they fall through.
“It’s going to be almost junk bonds by the time it comes to the market. It’s not a good investment,” says Jack Hart, resident of Walker County.
Harts doubts the economy could support the project.
But officials assure taxpayers the project poses little financial risk to them. They say the hotel and convention center will generate more than $50 million dollars annually, and will create 250 jobs and 400 construction jobs.
The hotel and convention center is also just the tipping point. Ed Hall of Raymond James says they are planning to include a retail district, an equestrian facility and a country store to support the hotel.