What is Ancient Lore Village?
Updated May, 2020: Ancient Lore Village now to be a wedding venue, but many concerns remain.
Ancient Lore Village is the brainchild of Knoxville businessman Tom Boyd–in his words, “It’s a theme park,” a resort based on characters and settings in his recently-released book. Plans include 100 in-ground-style guest suites reminiscent of the hobbit houses in J.R.R. Tolkien’s novels, plus 50 tree houses, a 150-seat restaurant, a 500-seat conference center, an artisans’ marketplace, and a 1,000-seat amphitheater. There will be no televisions in the rooms, and guests’ vehicles will not be allowed on-property. Instead, they will be shuttled in from an outlying parking lot, or off-site.
According to Boyd Resorts’ trademark application, its purpose is:
“for lodging services, namely, lodges, hotels, quest cabins, guest houses and guest tree houses; and for rental of banquet and social function facilities for special occasions, namely, receptions, parties and special events; and for restaurant, bar and pub services; entertainment services, namely, amphitheater services, live shows and plays, rides and craft demonstrations; retail store services, namely, stores selling groceries, clothing, glassware, jewelry, candy, food, gifts and crafts; retail variety stores; convenience stores; and department stores.”
In the many news articles featuring the project, there are references to guests’ accommodations being open for tours by other guests during specified hours each day (several articles name these between 11AM and 2PM), so that guests can experience all the different types of homes. This has led to speculation that instead of simply being a vacation resort, Ancient Lore Village is in fact a timeshare community.
In any case, the selected site is wildly inappropriate for an endeavor on the scale of Ancient Lore Village–or any commercial enterprise beyond those explicitly permitted in county code for agriculturally-zoned parcels (e.g., home-based businesses, roadside vegetable stands, and other small farming-related ventures). If you agree, please join us and contact our planning commission, as well as our county commissioners!