Carter County Bank makes ‘major investment’ in Roan Mountain Branch remodeling

Published 1:28 pm Thursday, June 6, 2024

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By Buzz Trexler

Star Correspondent

In the early weeks of December 2022, Carter Countians were looking at the possibility of a white Christmas. What they weren’t banking on until the warnings came on Dec. 21 were dangerously low temperatures and wind chills dropping to as much as 25 below zero. 

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It’s something Brian Tipton, who is branch manager and assistant vice president at Carter County Bank’s Roan Mountain Branch, 8257 U.S. 19E, wasn’t banking on either during the pre-Christmas rush. Yet, the freezing temperatures created a problem that also resulted in an opportunity.

“We had a pipe that broke,” he said Tuesday. “I don’t know why, because it was warm in here.”

The damage was extensive, and the bank was down for a day or two, Tipton said, but continued to operate out of trailers. “We had one that we put in the back originally that got us back up and running,” he said. “The purpose of it was for a quick response to get back up and running. Then we moved into one that was a little bit more permanent that we put out front that had easier access and everything like that while we got everything ready inside.”

The bank subsequently decided to make a major investment in the community with a full remodel. “Basically, the only thing we left was the brick on the outside of this building. Everything inside is brand new,” Tipton said.

The renovation included landscaping, updated signage, and bricked walkways on the outside, with the updated lobby with fireplace, offices, and a community conference room for customers on the inside.

“The bank is 100 percent committed to this community,” the Roan Mountain native said. “They made a major investment to say ‘We’re here to stay. This community has always been good to us and we’re going to be right here to take care of it.’”

Tipton said even though it came by accident, the timing of the renovation is significant.

“The bank is celebrating 85 years of being in business,” he said. “And on their 85th anniversary, they just made the biggest investment in their first branch. So, the oldest branch just quickly became the brand-new branch.”

Tipton, who joined Carter County Bank after graduating from East Tennessee State University in 2007, recalls the original Roan Mountain branch was located downtown. According to an in-house publication from 1990, the branch opened on March 18, 1950, “in the Slaughter Block in Roan Mountain.” A new building opened in February 1973 on U.S. 19E, and was replaced by the current building in June 1990.

A grand reopening of the branch is set for 4:30-6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 20, with music and food. Parking with shuttle service will be available at Roan Mountain Community Park. Attendees are asked to RSVP to