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Bee Rock Park Offers Economic Boom For Monterey

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Bee Rock Park Offers Economic Boom For Monterey

Bee Rock Park brought some $300,000 in economic activity to Monterey last year, according to a new study from Tennessee Tech’s Center For Rural Innovation.

Center Director Michael Aikens told the Board of Aldermen Monday night an Economic Impact Study revealed that some 3,500 tourists visited the park last year. The center tracked cell phone data and offered surveys to visitors starting last May.

“What I’m really excited about is that moving through 2024, what we can do a year from now is the same thing,” Aikens said. “Measuring that economic impact but also looking at, how did things change over time? Did we have more people come? Where did they come from?”

Aikens said tourists were provided questionnaires when they visited the park that helped gather information on their spending habits. He said lodging and dining were among the top generators of tourism dollars for Monterey. He said the surveys also asked open-ended questions which provided largely positive feedback about the park experience.

“Our students worked to actually do this,” Aikens said. “So they’re getting experience in research. They’re getting experience in economic analysis. They’re getting experience in economics, and that is one of the most important things that we can provide as a university, is that real-world career-ready experience.”

He said after tourism numbers skyrocketed in 2020, they have settled and may have even been on the low side of average in 2023. He said he expects even higher numbers next year. Aikens said some $2,700 in taxes were collected in Monterey from Bee Rock tourists and another $7,000 went to the county. He said the data gives Monterey the power to leverage proof of the value in the city’s tourism assets when pursuing future growth.

In other business, the Aldermen approved a motion to take bids on the paving of Rose Avenue and Callahan Road. Council Member James Foster said the city will also accept bids to pave a small section of road by the Monterey t-ball fields.

The board also approved a motion for striping on Crossville Road from Industrial Drive to Commercial Avenue. He said the road was paved in the fall of 2023, but the city did not get a chance to stripe it. He said the project will cost some $2,000. He said the project would also include crosswalks and stop bars. Council Member Bill Wiggins said he believes it is a reasonable price, and striping in a school zone is vital.

The board also approved a low bid for the materials to be used for the kayak dock at Meadow Creek Park. The board accepted a bid of some $45,000 from AccuDock. That price will provide materials to build an accessible 16-by-24-foot dock with two walkways. The bid price falls within the grant that will fund the project.


The post Bee Rock Park Offers Economic Boom For Monterey appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.