The City of Knoxville has unveiled plans for Mount Knoxville in an attempt to capitalize on the high number of tourists visiting Sevierville and maximize the impact of the new increased sales tax through souvenir sales.
The plans call for a large sculpture (likened to Mount Rushmore) to be cut into Sharps Ridge, just miles from Downtown Knoxville. The fact that Sharps Ridge is red clay rather than stone does not deter contracted artisans.
Individuals that have greatly contributed to the betterment of life within the local region and the United States as a whole will be honored within the clay creation. Jim Haslam, Jim Martin, Jim Clayton, and Ashley Capps were unanimously selected for the honor. A small section of the mountain will be left blank in the event that someone else with ties to Knoxville warrants recognition in the future.
It is estimated that Mount Knoxville will bring thousands of visitors yearly, boosting the local economy. Mount Knoxville is also expected to be very popular with visitors to Knoxville’s new convention center and the planned Universe Knoxville project. City Officials have repeatedly pointed out that Mount Rushmore National Memorial has a budget of nearly 3 million dollars and annual visitation of nearly 2 million individuals – if Mount Knoxville is only half as popular it will be considered a success.