One Vision Plaza opens to rave reviews; Knoxvillians gather to celebrate new tourism headquarters
June 30, 2004 - The Knoxville Tourism &
Sports Corporation (KTSC) held a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house
today to celebrate the grand opening of One Vision Plaza, headquarters
for the organization plus the location of Knoxville's new downtown visitor
center featuring the broadcasting studios of Americana radio station
WDVX, the Café Gourmet Coffee Bar and the "Uniquely Knoxville"
More than 200 people including government and community leaders joined
KTSC Chairman of the Board William B. Stokely III, KTSC President
& CEO Gloria Ray plus Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam and Knox County
Mayor Mike Ragsdale to officially unveil the facility to the public.
"Since the KTSC was created in the late summer of 2002, it's
been a dream of those of us involved with this organization to find
a home for the staff that would allow them to be under one roof, to
function as a single, cohesive unit. One Vision Plaza does that for
us," said Stokely.
Located at the corner of Gay Street and Summit Hill Avenue in downtown
Knoxville, One Vision Plaza combines a variety of Knoxville tourism
initiatives, restores and rejuvenates a downtown location and creates
an original and authentic experience for both out-of-towners and Knoxville
residents. Visitors will not only find maps, brochures and friendly
service, but an attractive and unique environment in which to discover
all that Knoxville has to offer.
"With the radio station and performance stage plus the great
food and beverages available at Café Gourmet, One Vision Plaza
is going to be a happening place," said Ray. "For those
of you old enough to remember, Knoxville used to be home to the Midday
Merry Go-Round radio show and we hope to bring some of that fun and
enthusiasm back to Gay Street."
The KTSC markets all of Knoxville's assets and offers a one-stop
shop for convention/meeting planners, national sports governing body
rights-holders and leisure travelers.
"I applaud the KTSC for revitalizing a 100-year-old downtown
building as a venue to promote Knoxville and do business," said
City of Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam.
One Vision Plaza will also headquarter the Knoxville Tourism Alliance
(KTA) and Destination Knoxville. The KTA is a non-profit membership
organization representing the tourism and hospitality industry in
the Knoxville area. Destination Knoxville is a tour and receptive
company that has partnered with the KTSC to provide support and fulfillment
for Knoxville-based vacation and tour packages for leisure tourists
"I'm thrilled that the KTSC has a new facility from which it
can continue to market and promote Knox County," said Knox County
Mayor Mike Ragsdale. I am very supportive of the work the organization
performs and I share their excitement over One Vision Plaza and the
promise it holds as a wonderful resource for visitors and locals alike."
WDVX is a listener-supported radio station playing an eclectic mix
of bluegrass, Americana, country, folk and traditional mountain music.
WDVX is licensed to the Cumberland Communities Communications Corporation
and broadcasts on 89.9 FM, 102.9 FM and on the web at www.wdvx.com.
"The station has been seeking new opportunities and our partnership
with the KTSC gives us the chance to bring music, to bring live radio
back to downtown Knoxville and we're absolutely thrilled to be here
in One Vision Plaza," said Tony Lawson, station manager for WDVX.
The Café Gourmet Coffee Bar is a partnership between the KTSC
and local Knoxville roaster Goodson Brothers Coffee and the "Uniquely
Knoxville" Gift Shop features a wide variety of locally made
products and merchandise. "Goodson Brothers is excited to be
a part of One Vision Plaza," said owner Jeff Goodson. "My
company's story is a good example of the many home-grown businesses
that thrive in Knoxville and I proud to help promote my community."
The renovated building was originally built in the early 1900's.
Its most recent tenant was a Wendy's restaurant, but the structure
has been vacant since 1991. The property was acquired by the KTSC
from the Tennessee Valley Authority.
The design of One Vision Plaza was conceived and executed by the
Knoxville firm Johnson Architecture. The designers transformed a traditional,
linear layout into a concept utilizing curving walls and features
that echo the curving lines of the KTSC logo that features the sun,
mountains and water. Demark Construction oversaw construction of One
Vision Plaza and the financing was handled by AmSouth Bank.
The Knoxville Tourism & Sports Corporation, a private 501(c)
3 corporation, has contracts with Knoxville and Knox County to strengthen
the area economy by marketing Knoxville as a destination for conventions,
events and leisure travel.
"It's All Here, Just for You. Enjoy!"