Snapshot of Tate Springs, circa 1957

February 1, 2009


This just in from loyal reader Samuel Spaulding, who writes “This picture was taken in 1957, I was 11 years old at the time. This must have been the last decade that Tate Springs in Bean Station was open.

Bristol Speedway to add more seats?

August 23, 2007

An article in the Bristol Herald Courier quotes Speedway Motorsports Chairman Bruton Smith as saying that he is considering expanding the seating capacity of the NASCAR track to 173,000. If this expansion takes place, the seating at the Speedway will exceed the University of Tennessee’s Neyland Stadium (102,037) and the Tennessee Titan’s LP Field (68,798) combined, and will mark the greatest assemblage of double-digit IQs since the Hooked on Phonics national convention.

Given that the Speedway is located in a small Tennessee city, the impact on hotel rooms whenever a race takes place is enormous; fans stay as far away as Knoxville. Even people who think that NASCAR racing takes place in a parallel universe need to pay attention to race schedules to make sure they can find a room.


This blog is part of a much larger website, also entitled Tennessee Guy, that contains travel and cultural information about Tennessee. Visit it here.

Stay with the world’s tallest horse

August 6, 2007

Several bed and breakfast places in Tennessee will let you bring your horse, but few have an offer like the Springbrook Inn in Niota: your horse can stay on the same farm as the tallest horse in the world.

Tina–her full name is Jensons Diplomat Tina–was certified as the World’s Tallest Horse on July 28th. The height of horses is measured in hands, and Tina measures 20 hands tall at the withers. That’s six feet, nine inches tall at the shoulders to us non-equestrian folks. She weighs 1,600 pounds, and at three years of age,  has not reached her full growth yet. Tina is an English shire horse, a breed first brought to England by William the Conqueror.

And the B & B? It offers three bedrooms for $100 per night each. For people who just want to see Tina, she is on display to the general public on the first Saturday of each month from noon until 2:00 PM. The cost is $5 per carload. To get to the Inn, go to I-75 Exit 56 (Niota). Drive east on Route 309. At the intersection of Highway 11, bear to the right. Right on Burn Road and the second driveway on the right will be Springbrook Inn.

This blog is part of a much larger website, also entitled Tennessee Guy, that contains travel and cultural information about Tennessee. Visit it here.

‘Naturalist’ resorts seek the college crowd

May 14, 2007

Writing about nudist camps, or “naturalist resorts,” as they prefer to be called, brings the shameless punsters running. An Associated Press story now making the rounds bares the story of how the proprietors of the places to go when you want to pack lightly are seeking young members. Seems that the aging membership numbers are sagging. (Sorry, I can’t help myself.)

Crossville, Tennessee is the home of Cherokee Lodge (not safe for work site), so I gave them a call to see how things are hanging. The phone was answered by Sally Fann, mother of the owners, who reports that of the 80-100 guests at Cherokee last weekend, approximately ten percent were 30 or younger, not counting children.

How is Cherokee Lodge seeking the younger set? “We advertise in Nashville Scene,” she replied, but most of our visitors find us through the Internet.” A quick perusal of the Lodge’s site reveals a host of activities, including the North American Nude Bikers Tour, the Christian Naturism Convocation, and the “Farmers Tan” Dance with DJ Bobby. There was no mention of any formal dances featuring gownless evening straps.

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Peabody Hotel Rooftop Parties begin new season

April 3, 2007

One of the perennial delights of the Peabody Hotel in Memphis is the series of Rooftop Parties that take place every Thursday evening from this week through August 30. Beginning at 6:00 PM, they feature live music, drinks, and a great view of the sun setting over the Mississippi River.

The Peabody Hotel’s website gives this history of the Parties: “Originally called Sunset Serenades, Peabody Rooftop Parties began when the Plantation Roof and adjoining Skyway opened in 1938 when the east end of the hotel’s roof was enclosed. The new supper club became a huge success, featuring performances by showbiz greats of the era such as Paul Whiteman, Jan Graber, Tommy Dorsey, Les Brown, Harry James, Smith Ballew and Ted Weens. In the 1940s, The Peabody Rooftop was one of only three locations for live radio broadcasts during the Big Band era.”


Knoxville Hotels: Moving up and adding Personality

September 10, 2006

The News-Sentinel reports on hotel construction in and around Knoxville with the news that travelers want something more than a cookie-cut, franchise overnight stay.

Twenty-two new projects are underway, some updated versions of tired motels and others serving i[ brand new construction. What travelers want, according to the piece, is “indoor room entrances and more upscale bathrooms and bedding.”

Absolutely. The last time I spent the night in a Knoxville area motel, the bathroom was a stark chamber with a crumby sink with so little counter room that I wound up putting my toilet kit on the floor. Yet this was a “deluxe whirlpool room” that cost me something like $140.

Travelers also want interesting things to see and do outside of the play they rest their heads, ideally within walking distance. I’ll be watching and reporting on downtown hotels and what they offer.

KnoxNews: Business