What is The McLemore Hotel?

Located on Lookout Mountain in Walker County, Georgia, The McLemore Hotel is planned as a major branded, upper-upscale/luxury resort, conference center conference center with a mountaintop golf course and spa that will attract visitors from the Southeast, as well as national and international markets.

Construction plans call for the hotel to be built on the mountain’s lower brow shelf on the eastern brow overlooking historic McLemore Cove. The setting will allow visitors to enjoy dramatic morning sunrises with distant views as well as enjoy comfortable sunsets, while watching the shadow of Lookout Mountain slowly cover the valley floor below. 

The hotel is designed to take full advantage of the dramatic views without taking away from the natural setting that makes this location so special. Located in Northwest Georgia’s Historic High Country, The McLemore Hotel will not only draw visitors to the resort, but also to the numerous amenities in Walker County and Northwest Georgia.

Who will visit McLemore?

There is nowhere else in the Southeast that has the concentration of population and businesses within a two-hour drive time. McLemore is uniquely positioned to draw from a pool of over 12 million people from throughout the region. McLemore is located within 113 miles of Nashville, 135 miles of Birmingham, 103 miles of Atlanta, 100 of Knoxville, 75 miles of Huntsville, and less than 30 minutes from downtown Chattanooga.

Who will work on McLemore?

The team assembled by Scenic Land Company to design, develop and construct the planned project is highly regarded for their strong sense of commitment to the environments in which they work as well as to the attention to detail they apply to each aspect of the project.

Scenic Land Company is partnering with many groups in Northwest Georgia and East Tennessee, as well as national partners that bring additional experience and expertise to the table. This includes Master Planner, Roland Aberg of Hart Howerton; hotel operator, Euan McGlaushan of Valor Hospitality; lead builder, Jim Hultgren of Ryan Companies; and golf course architects Rees Jones and Bill Bergin.

Hart-Howerton, the Master Planner, is renowned for its ability to plan large-scale projects that are authentic to the location and sensitive to the sites natural setting. Most recently, their work took them to Shanghai where they completed work on the newest Disney World Park.

Hart-Howerton is joined by Chattanooga architectural firm, PV Design, which counts among its projects, The Block in downtown Chattanooga and the Edwin Hotel, currently under construction near the historic Walnut Street Bridge.

Scenic Land looked to a world-class leader to provide consultation for the hotel. Valor Hospitality Partners is a global hospitality management company led by Euan McGlaushan. McGlaushan’s experience includes Cape Grace Hotel in South Africa named “Best Hotel of the Year” in 2000 by Conde Nast, Barnsley Gardens, Sea Palms Resort, and Hotel Indigo Atlanta among their more than 40 projects spread across three continents.

We are working with golf course architects Rees Jones and Bill Bergin to renovate The Course at McLemore. Over the last 25 years, Bergin’s company has designed more than 70 courses. His portfolio includes the recent renovations to the Chattanooga Golf & Country Club course as well as Justin Timberlake’s award-winning, eco-friendly course in Memphis, which was selected as the “#1 Best Course You Can Play” by GolfWeek in 2015.

When will construction begin on The McLemore Hotel?

Scenic Land Company has and is continuing to make investments to secure and enhance The McLemore Hotel project. Scenic Land Company is committed to the The McLemore Hotel project for the long term. We are already in discussions with financial institutions and anticipate funding will be secured this year and construction will begin the following year.

There is zero debt on The McLemore Hotel project and associated land at this time. All investment to date has been made from available cash.

In addition to the hotel/resort, what additional elements are being planned?

In addition to the hotel, conference center, spa, golf course, dining facilities, infinity edge pools, Scenic Land Company is planning to construct a clubhouse along the 18th fairway, a pavilion and event lawn along the bluff, and a much needed emergency service facility to serve the McLemore community and surrounding neighborhoods.

How is The McLemore Hotel being funded?

Initial funding for The McLemore Hotel comes from Scenic Land Investments’ previous funds as well as its current fund, SLI.3.  There is no debt on the land and all work to date has been funded with cash equity. The construction of the project is not fully funded at this time but the team is working with financial institutions now and anticipates full funding for the project to be secured in 2017. The local private and public investment have been committed and the required assets are being secured.  The only outstanding incentive needed, prior to securing funding for the entire project, is the State of Georgia’s Tourism Development Act.  

What are the benefits to Walker County and Dade County?

The proposed McLemore Hotel is expected to create nearly 2,000 construction jobs and 300 permanent, direct jobs, in addition to the indirect jobs that would be created. It is also expected to bring in millions of dollars of out-of-state tourism revenue from the Southeast, as well as from national and international visitors.

The project will complement and enhance the numerous tourist destinations in Walker County and surrounding counties.

What are the risks to Walker County and surrounding counties?

The proposed McLemore Hotel poses zero financial risks to Walker County. Neither Walker County nor its citizens will be financially accountable in any way for the planned McLemore Hotel. Conversely, it is the intention of Scenic Land Company and the project’s investors for Walker County to significantly benefit financially through job creation and revenues from tourism.

Why are the county and state economic development incentives required?

In order for The McLemore Hotel to create long-term sustainability that leverages its full capabilities as an economic development project, county and State of Georgia incentives are required for the project to be competitive nationally and internationally.

The incentives provided do not come from any existing county or state revenue stream. The incentives provided are a re-investment of the new revenues from the project that would not exist if not for the project.

The State of Georgia Tourism Development Act was created and passed to provide incentives for projects just like the proposed McLemore Hotel because of the exponential economic impact a tourism project of this scale creates.

The McLemore Hotel will be an economic driver for Walker County, surrounding counties, as well as the State of Georgia.

Why was The McLemore Hotel location selected?

In addition to its strategic location and beautiful mountaintop setting, The McLemore Hotel has already enjoyed previous investment in infrastructure and amenities. These investments have funded a sewer package plant, a water tower, a golf course, highway access, and road access from the highway to the proposed project site. To date, there is approximately $20 million of investment that has been grossly under-utilized, but which is critical to the development of a world-class resort.

What about previous efforts?

Scenic Land Company has been working on The McLemore Hotel since 2008.  Despite having funding secured in 2010, the original project did not proceed due to the distraction of an ill-conceived competing effort that was well documented in what proved to be the longest trial in Hamilton County history. 

The efforts with the trial were not completed until the middle of 2015.  Scenic Land Company re-engaged on the development efforts in 2016. Scenic Land Company has applied everything it learned from the previous project and trial to make the current planned project a sound and sustainable venture for its team, investors and community. 

Scenic Land Company will forever be grateful of the representation of Dallas based law firm McKool Smith, which was led by Principal, Robert Manley, and Lead Associate, Avery Williams.  Their efforts resulted in a successful conclusion to a lengthy and demanding case that provided Scenic Land Company with the opportunity to breathe new life into this project.

Who are Scenic Land Company’s team members?

The key leadership of Scenic Land Company is comprised of four seasoned individuals with proven business results in their respective disciplines.

Duane Horton is an Owner and President of Scenic Land Company, LLC; President of Scenic Land Investments Management, LLC, which serves as the manager for the Scenic Land Investments real estate investment funds; and is also an owner of GenTech Construction. In 2007, Horton was the recipient of the Chattanooga & Hamilton County Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year.

Board Members include the following:

Ryan Crimmins is President of Lawson Electric and the former President of W. Max Finley Stadium. Crimmins has served as the former Mayor of Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, serves on the board of SunTrust Bank, and is a member of the Rotary Club of Chattanooga.

Dr. Daryl F. Mann is Chief Manager of SouthEast Eye Specialists. He is a charter member of the Optometric Glaucoma Society, past-President of the Tennessee Association of Optometric Physicians and former chairman of the American Optometric Association’s Hospital Practice Committee and its Medical Eye Care Committee.

Matt Hullander is the owner of Hullco Inc., a nationally recognized home improvement company, Chestnut Holdings and B&M Development, both real estate development companies, and Chattamedia, a digital marketing agency. Hullander was named “Contractor of the Year” by Replacement Contractor Magazine in 2012, and has received the Chattanooga Chamber’s “Small Business of the Year,” The BBB’s “Torch Award for Business Place Ethics" and was induced into Remodeling Magazine’s “Big 50” in 2009.

Mike Thompson is Manager of Pre-Construction Services for Performance Contracting, Inc., a $1.1 billion dollar company based out of Lenexa, Kansas. Thompson founded the scaffold division of Performance Contracting, Inc., in 2007, which now generates in excess of $80 million annually. Thompson has been in the scaffolding business for 44 years and started and sold two companies. Currently, Thompson sits on the board of directors for the Scaffold & Access Industry Association (SAIA) where he has been a member for 25 years. 

What does the McLemore community think of this?

Scenic Land Company has met with The Residences at McLemore Homeowner's Association during several listening sessions to present the concept for a proposed hotel/resort and to understand the community's concerns and expectations. On both occasions, the members of the Homeowner's Association in attendance expressed unanimous support for the proposed McLemore Hotel and the additional amenities that will benefit the community.

Where is Walker County?

Walker County is located in Northwest Georgia. Formed in 1833, Walker County was named after Freeman Walker, a U.S. Senator from Augusta, Georgia. The county currently operates under a Sole Commissioner form of government, which gives the Commissioner both legislative and executive powers. 68,756 people live in Walker County, according to the 2010 United States Census. The county boasts a labor force of 30,642. Nearly 56 percent of local jobs are in the service industry. To learn more, visit: www.walkerga.us or on Facebook at: Walker County Commissioner

What is Scenic Land Company?

Scenic Land Company has met with The Residences at McLemore Homeowner's Association Based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Scenic Land Company is a balanced mix of land stewards and community developers. The team and its partners are comprised of planners, designers and contractors sharing a dedication to responsible land development and community building. Scenic Land Company’s goal is creating value through thoughtful land development within each community and growing our local economy, Scenic Land Company develops remarkable communities that balance highest and best uses with the preservation of our natural resources. Other projects developed by Scenic Land Company include Hillocks Farm in Hixson, Brow Wood on Lookout Mountain and Oakbrook in East Brainerd.  To learn more, visit: www.ScenicLandCompany.com

What is Scenic Land Investments?

Scenic Land Investments and its member investors are focused on the development of challenging, undeveloped land and bringing them to market to provide the highest and best use. Scenic Land Investments seeks to provide our member investors’ with a maximum return on investment year-over-year through responsible stewardship and consideration for all people and land involved.  To learn more, visit:  www.ScenicLandInvestments.com.

What is GenTech Construction?

GenTech Construction LLC provides value-added construction services. Targeting Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia, the company focuses on commercial construction, high-end residential construction and renovation, and multiple-property maintenance contracts. GenTech Construction will serve as the Construction Manager and will be responsible for sourcing local contractors and suppliers for the project.

GenTech is the Preferred Builder of The Residences at McLemore and the construction management company for The McLemore Hotel.

What is Arthur Rutenberg Homes?

Arthur Rutenberg has been a respected name in homebuilding since 1953, when he built his first home upon the four “cornerstones” that would make him legendary: design, craftsmanship, service and responsibility.

Today, Arthur Rutenberg Homes, Inc. is one of the largest networks of independently owned and operated homebuilding companies in the nation, with franchised homebuilders throughout Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.