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Ancient Lore Village resort planning to have multiple locations, CEO says, but will one be in South Knox?

The $74 million themed resort company now has a senior management team and board of directors and plans to move forward quickly with development.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Multiple Ancient Lore Village resorts will be built, a news release from the company said Wednesday morning.

But it's still a matter of where. 

Members of the South Knoxville community have voiced concern for months over the company's plans to build a multi-million dollar resort based on visionary Tom Boyd's Ancient Lore Village concept in the area. 

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Now, Ancient Lore Village is saying that while the company wants to be in South Knoxville, it's not the only place to consider.

"We believe in South Knoxville. We’re about to invest $74 million into a community and – needless to say – there are a number of towns that have expressed a strong desire for an Ancient Lore Village,” Matthew Cross, the CEO of the resort company, said in the release.

A grand opening for the first resort is planned for early 2021, the release said.

Plans for the first proposed resort initially included more than 150 period homes and tree houses, a 150-seat restaurant, a 500-person meeting and event center, and a 1,000-seat outdoor amphitheater on land off of Nixon Road and Old Sevierville Pike. 

And that's not all. The company plans to build multiple resorts based on the concept, according to Cross. 

“We will be building resorts in the near future,” Cross said. “We hope to build our first resort right here in Tom Boyd’s hometown, but we never viewed Ancient Lore Village as a single, standalone property. While we are based and headquartered in Knoxville, there will be other locations."

The news release also announced that Ancient Lore Village will have something called the “Settlers Program” that will give guests early access to the resort's property in late 2020.

The company's newly formed senior management team and board of directors was announced in the release as well, and said it now plans to move forward quickly with development.

The people the company has brought on include a number of notable business people from a range of related industries.

Cross himself is a Knoxville native with a hospitality, real estate development and consulting background. Others on the management team include Lewis Frazier, the CFO responsible for Regal Cinemas’ public offering, Melissa Blettner, the former Senior Vice President of themed amenities at Great Wolf Lodge, and Simon Hall, a notable chef who has worked with a number of resorts, the release said. 

The release also said the Board of Directors will include Tom Boyd, the visionary and entrepreneur behind the concept, as well as Daniel Levy, the owner of DKLEVY Architecture and Design, Mike Ragsdale, a former mayor of Knox County, Denise Weston, the owner of Infinite Kingdoms, an Orlando-based theme park and attraction supplier, and Greg Hewitt, a former executive with Whirlpool, Textron, Komatsu, Dover, Pilot Flying J, Cargotec and Northwestern Mutual.

“To assemble a management team and Board of Directors of this caliber is testimony to Tom Boyd’s unique vision for Ancient Lore Village and the viability of this enterprise," Cross said. "Some of the most experienced and respected names in the amusement and attraction industry – people from all over the country – have joined our team.”

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