The Walker County Development Authority July 8 approved a $100 million bond issue for a hotel on Lookout Mountain, overlooking McLemore Cove.
The McLemore Resort Lookout Mountain, Curio Collection by Hilton, is the latest development at McLemore, a Scenic Land Co. community atop Lookout Mountain, which in 2020 opened its golf course, short course, clubhouse and The Creag, a restaurant that is open to the public and McLemore residents; every house placed on the market last year sold, and houses under construction were under contract, Scenic Land Co. President Duane Horton said in a news release earlier this year.
According to county officials, the county and taxpayers have no liability for the bonds, but the county will collect no property taxes from the hotel for the first five years and 10% for the next 25 years. The tax incentives will expire after 30 years.
“Scenic Land Company must employ a minimum of 180 full-time workers each year and invest $100 million in the project in order to receive the full incentive amount,” said Joe Legge, Walker County public relations director.
Legge said the county estimates more than $1 million in sales and other tax revenue will be created directly from this project each year.
“The incentives apply only to the new development pieces from the project,” said Walker County Economic and Community Development Director Robert Wardlaw, who is the development authority’s executive director. “All pieces that were already there are excluded 100% from the incentive and will continue (being subject to) regular property taxes even as property values increase.”
Horton plans to close on the bonds Aug. 9 and to start construction on the hotel about that time.
The hotel will be a Hilton’s Curio Collection of hotels. The Chattanoogan in Chattanooga is also a Hilton Curio Collection property.
The 245-room hotel is expected to open in December 2023 after construction is completed in the fall. It will create 292 new jobs, as well as 1,900 construction jobs with an expected payroll of $66 million.
The McLemore development is at the site of the former Canyon Ridge and Taqueta Falls golf course communities.