Supporters of Fall Creek Falls State Park are lauding Gov. Bill Haslam’s call to fund extensive improvements to the park’s hospitality services after a recent attempt to privatize state park hospitality services failed because of their poor condition.
The issue of privatization was divisive at Fall Creeks Falls, located in Bledsoe and Van Buren counties not far from Pikeville. Many feared it, saying the jobs and retirement tracks of longtime state employees would be affected if an outside company took over the park’s inn, cabins, restaurant and golf course.
Others believed having an outside business operating those services could bring new energy to the local economy.
But local leaders on both sides of the issue say it’s good news that Haslam wants to send a total of $21.65 million to Fall Creek Falls to improve those features and build a visitor center — even if the privatization possibility still looms.