KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Businessman Tom Boyd wants to create a fantasy world in South Knoxville, in the shape of a $40 million resort named Ancient Lore Village at Boyd Hollow.
And just how that resort will look may be starting to take shape.
Boyd, the father of UT Interim President Randy Boyd, said plans for the proposed resort include 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.
The resort broke ground on two different prototype homes Monday, but did not specify what the homes would look like.
The gallery below shows what the homes could potentially look like using artist renderings of the different character dwellings from Ancient Lore Village's website.
Take a look at the dwellings of Ancient Lore Village
The prototype homes come before the resort has gained approval to change the zoning of the land it sits on in South Knoxville from an agriculture zone to a commercial one.
"These homes are being built with acquired permits under the current agricultural zoning of the main site for the purposes of validating the overall project budget," spokesperson Rick Laney said in a press release. "These homes will not initially be occupied but will be used as open house venues for several local charities this fall."
At a meeting in early February, some in the community expressed concerns about what changing the zoning could mean for the Urban Wilderness and how the construction of the resort could change South Knoxville. County commissioners assured people at that meeting that the zoning change would not happen overnight.
Boyd had previously said he planned to open the resort in spring 2020 and expected to draw 200,000 annual visitors.
But it appears those plans may be pushed back at this point.
Laney said the resort wanted to let the public know about the groundbreaking in "a spirit of transparency and to keep everyone in the community informed as to what is happening at Ancient Lore Village."