With Melton Hill Lake's rowing course drawing thousands of athletes from around the country, it seems the Secret City's secret is out.
"We hope Oak Ridge is no longer a secret," said Oak Ridge Convention and Visitors Bureau President, Katy Brown. "When you look at our rowing venue its one of the top three in the nation."
The sport of rowing has become big business for the community over the years. This weekend they city is hosting the US Rowing National Youth Championships.
"We host upwards of 16,000 people a year with rowing competitions and spring training," said Brown. The Youth Championships bring in around 5,000 student athletes and spectators.
The Oak Ridge CVB is using the ideal lake conditions to recruit around a dozen regattas each year.
The flat waters, mild weather, and proximity to the interstate make rowers keep wanting to come back for more. It is also one of a few in the country where you can see both the start and the finish line at the same time.
"It's really nice for rowing here," said Hope Shiels, a rower from New York. "We're close enough to the water to where you can actually see everybody racing and the water is wide enough for us to have 6 lanes."
Tourism officials say when the regattas are in town the hotels are booked and restaurants full.
"With our regattas we've had so far this year. We've seen an increase in business by 30%," said Riverside Grill Restuarant manager, Robert Bolby.
While they're here, locals hope the visitors like what they see.
"They get to experience a little bit, learn about the secret city. Maybe they'll want to come back and visit our area again," said Brown.
The Oak Ridge CVB credits the Oak Ridge Rowing Association for helping the sport begin to take off in the area back in the 70s.
The championship races run through Sunday.
The waters of Melton Hill Lake will be full of some of the best young rowers in the country this weekend.
USRowing and the Oak Ridge Rowing Association are hosting the 2012 USRowing Youth National Championships starting Friday.
More than 1500 athletes from high school and junior rowing programs across the country are competing for national titles in 18 boat classes.
The competition wraps up on Sunday.