Wildwood Resort & Marina breaks ground on expansion

Ground Breaking Ceremony. From left to right: Van Pond, Architect; State Rep. John Mark Windle; Myles Barton, US Army Corps of Engineers; Van Hillary, chief of staff to U.S. Congressman Rose, Donna and Kevin Jones with John and Natasha Deane, Wildwood Owners/Partners; Jackson County Mayor Randy Heady; Mark Herd, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Melanie Beauchamp, TN Department of Tourism; Jody Sliger, TN Department of Economic Development; Randall Clemons, Historic Granville.

To serve corporate leadership retreats, weddings, family reunions and other events year round

GRANVILLE – Federal, State and local officials gathered with local citizens at Wildwood Resort and Marina in Granville today to break ground on a $3 million expansion designed to position Wildwood to host corporate leadership retreats, weddings, family reunions and other events.

Wildwood Resort and Marina, formerly the Granville Marina and Resort, is a popular recreational facility with a full-service restaurant and cabins overlooking Cordell Hull Lake, located an hour’s drive east of Nashville International Airport in Jackson County. The resort wraps up its second season under new ownership Oct. 6 in order to begin construction. The owners, John and Natasha Deane and Kevin and Donna Jones, lease the 16-acre property on Cordell Hull Lake from the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. 

Wildwood Owner Team from left to right: Kevin Jones, Donna Jones, John Deane, Natasha Deane

Wildwood compliments the historic town of Granville which features an authentic 1880’s country store, a weekly live radio show featuring bluegrass music and a country supper, as well as an indoor/outdoor museum that tells the story of what life was like in yesteryear. Also nearby is Cummins Falls State Park and Burgess Falls State Park, several local wineries, beer and whiskey distilleries as well as fishing, kayaking, canoeing and horseback riding activities.

Wildwood and its predecessor, Granville Marina, have served almost exclusively as a summer recreation facility utilized primarily on holidays and weekends between Memorial Day and Labor Day. 

“This expansion is a major step forward for both Wildwood and Jackson County,” says John Deane, Wildwood co-owner. “Beginning with the 2020 season, we will be positioned to attract and serve groups throughout most of the year.” 

Major Elements of Expansion

As the expansion positions the property for year-round use, here are some of its key elements:

·        A new entrance and indoor lobby/lounge with an outdoor fire pit overlooking the water.

·        Two-story hotel style Lakeview Lodge as well as single bedroom cabins, lake view Salt Box tiny homes, and floating Harbor Cottage houseboats.

·        New, 820-plus-square-foot multi-purpose event room serving as corporate leadership retreat meeting room space, a private dining area for weddings and family reunions, morning yoga classes and evening singer-songwriter performances.

·        Boardwalk and sunset pavilion along the marina jetty.

·        A kayak, canoe and stand up paddle board barn near the Wildwood beach.

Rendering of Wildwood’s New Lodge and Event Center

“Wildwood is a terrific example of a public/private partnership,” said Van Hilleary, former Congressman and current chief of staff in the office of local Congressman John Rose. “While serving its mission to be good stewards of federal land and waterways, the Corps of Engineers is working with the owners of Wildwood who bring vision, capital and management to enable citizens to maximize enjoyment of the Cumberland River and its surrounding beauty.”

“We are pleased to be here today to celebrate this important milestone,” said Myles Barton, chief, management and disposal branch of the real estate division of the U.S. Corps of Engineers. “It has been a pleasure working with the owners of Wildwood to advance a vision for this resort as a destination site for corporate leadership retreats, weddings, family reunions and other events.”

“I’m excited today,” said Randy Heady, Jackson County Mayor. “I’m excited because we are celebrating a significant new investment in Jackson County that will attract large numbers of visitors to this beautiful place.”

State Rep. John Mark Windle, who in the 2018 state legislative session sponsored a successful bill to name Wildwood as a “Premier Resort” in Tennessee, participated in the groundbreaking.  

“I have enormous confidence in the owners of Wildwood and their ability to execute on their vision of building a successful destination for corporate leadership retreats, weddings and other events in Jackson County,” said Windle.

Project Represents Economic Revitalization Effort for Jackson County

“Tourism attracts out of town guests and provides increased tax revenue as well as employment for the local community,” said Heady. “We are grateful for Wildwood’s contribution to our local economy.” 

Plans to re-open are scheduled for May 2020. The resort is currently accepting group reservations beginning in Fall 2020.

For more information, please contact John Deane.

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