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Tennessee State Parks To Invest Funds, Seek Visitor Input at Norris Dam State Park for Year-Round Outdoor Recreation Options

Tennessee State Parks will seek input from visitors of Norris Dam State Park in a meeting Dec. 16 to discuss replacement options for the swimming pool currently at the park.

Parks officials announced that the swimming pool will not reopen. The swimming pool was closed in 2020 and 2021 due to complications related to COVID-19. Reopening the pool is unfeasible due to aging facilities, declining visitation pre-COVID 19 and high expenses. Tennessee State Parks has allocated $400,000 for the park to invest in new outdoor recreation activities. State parks officials encourage Tennesseans to voice their opinions on options for alternative, year-round outdoor recreational operations at the park. 

“The swimming pool at Norris Dam State Park requires major maintenance upgrades while usage continues to decline. We believe it is unfair to Tennessee taxpayers for the state to continue to invest in the swimming pool with rising costs and declining use,” Jim Bryson, deputy commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, said. “Fortunately, the Tennessee General Assembly has been very supportive of the parks in recent years, which has allowed us to allocate funding for options that are more fiscally responsible to taxpayers and that visitors can enjoy year-round. We first want to hear from visitors of the park about what they would prefer and use.”

The funds for the park will go to options that can be used throughout the year. The swimming pool, in contrast, operated only 70 days each year.

The pool is 45 years old and visitation is down 29 percent.

The one-hour meeting on Dec. 16 will begin at 5 p.m. EST in the Tea Room at the park at 125 Village Green Circle in Rocky Top 37769. Anyone may attend.