CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — TVA is known primarily for creating industrial growth over the years by producing electric power.
But there’s another side to that government-owned agency – promoting tourism using TVA recreation areas along the Tennessee River.
It’s that time of year when TVA wants to talk about lake levels and recreation.
There are 49 reservoirs on the river and plenty for your family to do.
“TVA, right now, getting out in the spring, one of the big things is hiking. We have a lot of trails, more than 70 miles of trails. One of the biggest areas around here we’d like to promote is at the Raccoon Mountain area – what we call Laurel Point. A lot of mountain bike trails are over there, about 30 miles worth actually,” says recreation engineer Jimmie Lemmond.
That translates into dollars for local economies.
James Everett, Senior Manager of the River Forecast Center, says “Actually UT in Knoxville did an economic study. Economic impact from TVA reservoirs on the river system is about $12-billion. And that works out to about a million dollars per shoreline mile. That’s things like property values – you know, people who buy boats, gasoline , tourism, fishing tournaments.”
That’s why TVA has launched it’s Tennessee River Tour this year. Many people don’t know about some of its attractions.
“In Chattanooga, Chickamauga is a great asset for fishing. A lot of bass tournaments come, talk about the economic value of that,” Lemmond says.
And 2018, so far, is in good shape from recent rains.
Everett adds, “We’re starting the season nice and full at all of our reservoirs. And so we certainly encourage people to go out there and use the resources – use them safely.”
For more details, Lemmond says, “You can go on our website TVA.COM to the recreation page and get all this information about camping, hiking, anything on the water, anything on the land.”
So, the TVA people are urging you to consider a “TVA-cation” this year.