Since Port Royal leaders were the featured program at the chamber of commerce last week, all talk in Pickens has been water park.
Public discussion boils down to potential jobs versus potential disruption of small town atmosphere.
Below are some of the comments received online, at our Facebook page and in e-mails to our office and some face-to-face.
We would offer one cautionary note, no official plans have been submitted nor property purchase finalized.
Pros -- much needed jobs and tax income
This is an unbelievable opportunity for Jasper and the surrounding area. It could actually bring growth and vitality to this area. We must “think out of the box” and move this area forward! It is an AWESOME idea for our county!!!!!!!
-- from our website comments
One person said they had been to other, similar water parks in the northern states and they were very nice family places where kids from age 2 to age 19 could enjoy spending a day, while grandparents relaxed in other parts of the resort.
-- in-person comment
What y’all must not understand is this is not being built for the locals to enjoy. It’s a ‘destination resort and conference center’. Think: Orlando, FL.
The local residents are not the people expected to keep this place open. According to the developers who spoke yesterday, there will be discounted rates for Jasper/Pickens residents. What this place will do is provide much needed jobs and tax income.
-- Dwayne Martin from Facebook
I’m looking forward to the change. It’s about time something came to Jasper to give more people jobs without having to drive a long ways. And I believe it will give outsiders a great chance to experience the country & small town stores.
-- Tara Townsend Caylor from Facebook
Jobs, tax revenue, more money for services to improve for resident citizens. Sounds good to me. Way to go city of Jasper. I applaud you for seeing potential when county officials didn’t.
-- Jake Reppert from Facebook
Jasper is about to be on the map. Property values will increase, more restaurants, more everything. Yeah come on.
-- Jay Simmons from Facebook
Cons - the small town feel will be gone
If Pickens had some experience with tourism as does Dawson County and Blue Ridge, maybe they would be more prepared for something like this, but they don’t and the county is so needy for something to turn around the economy they are easily dazzled. All that glitters is not gold.
-- From e-mail to editor
Regarding the palm trees in the artist rendering -- “Just something to make you go hmmmmmmm.”
-- From another e-mail to editor
Think about what has happened to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge Tenn.? You People want Jasper to turn into those places?
-- Jason Christensen from Facebook
Yikes, hope they plan to add lanes to 515. Traffic is already horrible.
-- Crystal Harvill Roberts from Facebook
So much for retiring and moving up to Jasper in the future. The small town feel will be gone, your bread and butter retirees that pay property taxes will sell and move away to a more quiet area.
-- K Jackson Vallese from Facebook
Sooner or later they will use the B word ... BONDS. That is where the rubber meets the road. One thing is for certain, and that is that life in Pickens will never be the same. Just a couple of years ago, we touted that people moved here because of the lifestyle. That will be gone, and apparently that is no longer important.
-- From e-mail to editor
I’m surprised so many want this in Jasper. I like the small town feel, but to each his/her own.
-- Jesse Horne on Facebook