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Knoxville hospitality partnership invests in historic RT Lodge in Maryville

The staff of the lodge will remain in their roles through the transition.

MARYVILLE, Tenn. — The RT Lodge at Maryville College is getting new backers after a group of Knoxville hospitality owners formed a new local investment partnership. 

The historic property, built originally as a home by Susan Wiley Walker in the early 1930s, has been a venue for many gatherings and events such as weddings -- featuring a lodge nestled in natural scenery with award-winning dining.

The partnership, Morningside Lodge, LLC, will oversee the lodge, restaurant and grounds moving forward, pledging to preserve its history and community essence.

Among those involved in the partnership are Beth McCabe Holman, founder of The McCabe Company and former senior event manager for Blackberry Farm, as well as Annie and David Colquitt from Knoxville, owners of The Swag resort in North Carolina.

“RT Lodge, like Maryville College, is an East Tennessee treasure,” Colquitt said. “We see this as a long-term responsibility to our community to steward this property well so that it can thrive for another 50 years.”

The staff of RT Lodge, including General Manager Gary Doyle and Chef Trevor Stockton, will remain in their roles through the transition.

“This is the best outcome we could have imagined to maintain RT Lodge and its place in the East Tennessee hospitality landscape,” Doyle said. “It’s a weight off all of our shoulders to be supported by local investors, and we anticipate a bright future that builds on the existing legacy.”

“This is incredibly good news for the future of the RT Lodge, formerly Morningside, which is a vital part of Maryville College’s history," Maryville College President Dr. Bryan Coker said. "Beth McCabe Holman and the Colquitts understand and respect the small, historic and local nature of the lodge and how it is beloved by both the college and wider communities. I have complete confidence in their abilities to effectively steward Morningside and the legacy of Susan Wiley Walker. We look forward to a wonderful relationship with them for many years to come.”

The partnership it will be business as usual at the RT Lodge in the meantime.

“We’re grateful for this opportunity to extend the longevity of RT Lodge and thrilled that we can retain the current staff to help us do that,” Holman said. “We’re also grateful to Goldman Sachs and Maryville College for their partnership and thoughtful handling of this cherished property.”

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