Plans for Carter county resort to be unveiled at upcoming meeting

Published 8:37 am Monday, March 25, 2019

Carter County residents will get their first look at plans for a new lakeside resort planned for the Watauga Lake area during Tuesday’s Carter County Planning Commission meeting at 3 p.m.

The project, being developed by Daniel Goodhall and his family, is one he says could one day provide as many as 500+ jobs in the county.

“We are going to be giving the planning commission a preview of the development we have planned for the Butler area,” Goodhall said. The project, which would encompass 130+ acres is set to be completed in three phases, and includes a 22-room inn with an event center, a restaurant, a community “village,” condos and cottages.

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“We want to start with the inn, which will have 20 rooms and two suites, with balconies overlooking the lake, and an event center that will accommodate 75-100 people,” Goodhall said. “It will also have a nice restaurant that will seat about 80 people.

Phase 2 of the development has plans for a full village for the resort’s community, with cottages, and a skating rink in the winter.

Although Goodhall has 130+ acres to be developed, he says a lot of it will be preserved in a greenbelt. “We want to tuck the development into that,” Goodhall said, adding that Phase 3 of the development will provide villas, condos and cottages that can be purchased as vacation/rental properties — but not timeshares.

Goodhall said he and his family decided to move here after he fell in love with the area during business trips to Charlotte. “As I drove from Charlotte to Knoxville, I would see Watauga Lake,” he said. “It was mesmerizing. We always said ‘one day we are going to retire to Tennessee.’”

That ‘one day’ came about 2 1/2 years ago, when the Goodhalls – Daniel and his wife — purchased their property and moved to Carter County from Rosedale, California, where the couple had owned a technology company. Five of their seven children have also relocated to the area, and several of Goodhall’s 14 grandchildren attend Little Milligan Elementary School.

While the family originally thought of doing family farms on the property, Goodhall said he just saw so much potential for the beautiful area.

He is hoping to have Phase One — the inn and restaurant — open in late spring or summer of 2020.

“Our biggest challenge is the water, sewer, all of the things needed for the development,” Goodhall said. “This is a family project, and we have the money to get through the first phases, but we need the county’s help.”

While Goodhall said he didn’t have a projection of the economic impact, he estimates 25-50 new jobs for each of the first two phases  of development, and estimates the project could eventually bring as many as 500+ new jobs to the area.

“This will have a far reaching impact, but Carter County will benefit the most,” Goodhall said. “We are talking about tens of millions, over time, in economic impact, millions of dollars in tax revenues.”

Goodhall says he is excited about the project and the team his family has assembled to work on the development — Ken Ross, of Ken Ross Architects, Tommy Burleson of Burleson Construction and Rab Summers of Summers-Taylor.

“We want this to be a good project and we have a lot of key people working on this who understand the area and the impacts of the development,” he said. “Our family wanted to put together the best of the best in the area. After all, this is where we’re going to live and this is where our kids are going to raise.”