A Sports Illustrated resort is being considered for the area but is currently in the feasibility and concept stages, according to Matt Cross, founding partner and CEO of OE Experiences.
It cannot be said for sure if the resort is coming just yet, though, as Exit 407: Gateway to Adventure owner and operator Kituwah LLC is going through the resort’s program, design, and economics to make sure everything lines up.
Kituwah, the economic development arm of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, recently became the largest equity holder of the Sports Illustrated Resorts Brand.
Kituwah LLC CEO Mark Hubble hinted at a sports-themed resort at a groundbreaking ceremony for an entertainment district at the 407 development in April.
“We have a number of exciting announcements that are coming this year, including the groundbreaking for Puy Du Fou as well as what we’re calling our Phase Two overnight destination resort,” Cross said. “It’s going to be a gamechanger for this area whose purpose is to convert The 407 into an overnight destination.”
OE Experiences, a Knoxville-based experience development company, has represented Kituwah and The 407 globally in search of ideal partners for development.
If it is approved, Cross said it would become a resort anchor and overnight destination of the Exit 407: Gateway to Adventure.
Currently, there is only one Sports Illustrated Resort open in Cap Cana, Dominican Republic. However, a second is planned to open in Orlando, Florida in 2024 or 2025 according to Sports Illustrated’s website.