Fun Day on WBL With K-Dub

KW shoot 2In the middle of May, our friends from Knoxville Weekend (affectionately known as K-Dub) came to Roane County to see what’s so great about Watts Bar Lake. Our friend and host, Jac B., was up for any adventure we threw her way, and little did she know just all we had planned for her!

We began in the morning at Kingston City Park for a Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga lesson from Krystal Hennagar. Krystal is the instructor and proprietor of Roane County SUP Yoga. She is well versed in poses, perfect balance and creating an atmosphere of calm all while on the water. Watching Krystal, you’d think anyone can stand on a board and practice yoga, and if you ask her, that’s exactly what she’ll tell you! In just a matter of minutes, Krystal had Jac out on the board standing and stretching. Pair the peace of a yoga class with the serenity of still water, and you’ve got yourself a fitness utopia.

From there, we hopped on a boat with our captain for the day, Michael Heidle of Bunch Marine. Bunch Marine provided a beautiful pontoon boat for our day on the water. In fact, Bunch sells boats and boating accessories for every type of lake lover!

On the way, we had the opportunity to show the Knoxville Weekend team Gizmo Island and tell them about Gizmo Jam. They were all amazed to know that the entire music festival can be held the Saturday before Memorial Day and is only accessible by boat.

We also got to show them Fort Southwest Point and Camp John Knox by boat and share the rich history of Roane from right there on the water.

Around 11:30am, we docked at Blue Springs Marina for lunch at The Crow’s Nest. There, Jac had the opportunity to interview restaurant owner, Janet Steidle, about their food including their delicious burgers, crab cakes, and world-famous meatloaf.  We found out that Jac loves pretzels and beer cheese, so we ordered the appetizer to split. There’s nothing quite as relaxing as a lakeside lunch at Blue Springs!

We loved having the opportunity to tell her about the sailboats, the fish and the friendly atmosphere.From there, we headed over to Caney Creek RV Resort & Marina to hang out with manager Doug Phillips.

Doug gave Jac the rundown of all things RV as they discussed the resort and it’s amenties as well as the access to the marina and Roane County Park.

After a quick cruise by Roane County Park, we headed back to Kingston to finish out the day and wrap up the shoot.

It was a blast to take our new friends out to some of our favorite spots on WBL! Wanna see the video? Click here and you can!



#SoakinRoane, Roane County, Roane Tourism, Watts Bar Lake

More Visitors Are Soaking in Roane

Muir Fest booth SIR

Soak in Roane booth at John Muir Fest (l-r): Marilyn Calfee, Roane Chamber Chair; Eddie May; Pam May, Vice President and Teresa Jackson, Member Services Coordinator, the Roane Alliance

Four years ago Roane Tourism amped up our marketing program by first creating a more visual website – after all, people do come here because of the beauty.  So this  required photo and video shoots to capture life in Roane.  Then we went to work marketing all over about how you could Soak in Roane (SIR), the first-ever tourism campaign  that launched early spring with social media contests throughout the summer with SIR swag, a Jackson kayak from Uncle Lem’s and a weekend stay in an RV from Caney Creek RV Resort.

We created new visual media such as pull-up banners, post cards, visitors guide plus SIR t-shirts, stickers, koozies and bags.  Not to mention, WBIR’s spotlight on Watts Bar Lake in July, with a live remote for Live at Five at Four at Kingston’s City Park. Whew!  What a busy year!   But the amount of advertising even surprised us when it was all said and done.  Take a glimpse as I flip through the 2017 Media Marketing book!

And the numbers show those efforts are working.  Comparing 2017 to 2013 (before we amped up the marketing program), visitor spending in Roane increased by $5.3 million, creating $380,000 more in local tax receipts that goes directly to our schools.  Increasing visitors also provides more jobs in the hospitality businesses.  In that same time, 70 more tourism jobs became available that provided $2.5 million in payroll.   So yes, we feel our efforts are working and can’t wait to meet even more visitors coming to Soak in Roane!

Want to know more about the Roane Alliance and how we work to increase Roane’s economy?   Check out our 2017 Annual Report and visit www.VisitRoane.com to learn more about tourism in Roane.


Dive Into Summer Scavenger Hunt

scav card imageWhat’s more fun than a friendly competition? To celebrate Summer being in full-swing, we’ve created a signature scavenger hunt designed to get locals and visitors out to all 5 of our cities in Roane County! We’ve randomly selected 10 must-sees in Roane County that we’d love for you to visit. All you have to do is head to each location, get a valid signature from an employee or volunteer and bring the card back in to claim your prize! Prizes begin with 5 signatures, but they get better with each additional signature! For just 5 signatures, you win a t-shirt! For 8, you get a t-shirt AND a hat. With all 10, you get a Soak In Roane prize pack ($75 value). You can print this card or come by the welcome center to pick one up anytime Monday-Friday 8:30-5. Let the signature scavenger hunt begin!

Locations Include:

Fort Southwest Point – Tennessee’s Only Pioneer-Era Fort reconstructed on its original site in Kingston.

DOE Public Bus Tour – Leaves from the American Museum of Science and Energy in Oak Ridge with stops at Oak Ridge National Lab and “behind the fence” in the Wheat Community.

Oliver Springs Depot Museum – Visit the Museum to learn about the interesting and somewhat surprising history of Oliver Springs as well as the important part that trains played in developing the town that falls within 3 counties.

Windmill Inn – this former church building is now a bed and breakfast that caters to ATV and Jeep riders at Windrock Park.

Rockwood Visitors Center & Museum – this historic location is filled with treasures from the past that tell the story of how Rockwood came to be. On many Friday and Saturdays, this space is filled with live music as part of the Roane Song series.

Harriman Farmers Market – Every Wednesday and Saturday, David Webb Riverfront Park comes alive with produce vendors, bakers, crafters and more! Stop by to shop because the best things in life are Roane grown!

Roane State Expo Center/O’Brien Theatre – Located on the campus of Roane State Community College, these two venues offer very different experiences for visitors right here in Roane. The Expo Center is home to horse shows, rodeos and all things equestrian while the O’Brien Theatre packs out performances of plays, concerts and more.

Kingston’s SUP Rentals – Want to try your hand at stand up paddleboarding without the commitment of buying a board? The City of Kingston will begin renting paddleboards and kayaks between the bridges beginning this weekend and running throughout the remainder of the summer.

Jerry’s Bait Shop – Looking for the perfect lure to catch the fish you’ll be talking about for the rest of your life? Jerry’s has it. Stop by to see Donna, grab your bait and head over to WBL to catch a whopper.

Pamela Anne’s/Country Fresh Fudge – The hidden gem of downtown Oliver Springs is Pamela Anne’s fudge shop featuring Country Fresh Fudge. Stop in to pick up a sweet treat before you peruse the historical side of this beloved small town.