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Plans to build entertainment venue, sports complex behind the Pinnacle move forward

Plans to build entertainment venue...

Plans are in the works for a new entertainment venue in Washington County, Virginia. Developer Steve Johnson wants to build everything on his property right behind the Pinnacle.

The plans are in the very early stages. The Washington County Virginia Board of Supervisors is still waiting for a concept plan from Johnson. But County Administrator, Jason Berry, said the plan is to build an amphitheater, sports complex and a hotel on the 250 acres of land behind Bass Pro Shops.

While the Pinnacle is in Tennessee, the land for this development is on the Virginia side in Washington County. County leaders are excited about the potential for more tax dollars. But in order to make that development happen, they'll need to build a road leading into it, which is projected to cost $13 million.

So they're asking Senator Bill Carrico to propose legislation to approve an 'Admission Tax' to help pay for it. If the state grants that, the county would be able to charge an extra tax on admissions tickets to future events like sporting events or concerts at Johnson's development.

Board of Supervisors chairman Randy Pennington said this would not affect any other event or development in the county. In the state of Virginia, a county needs approval of an 'Admission Tax' on a case by case basis.

"It's not against the law, but it has to be passed by the General Assembly," Pennington said. "The county has no taxing power for that."

"It'd be something we don't have for one," Berry said. "And two, with the development in Tennessee all those dollars are going into the state of Tennessee. This would be a development that the county would benefit from on sales tax, property tax, so forth. It'd be a good thing for the county and add to the quality of life at the same time."

The proposed road would create another access point from I-81 to the development, including the Pinnacle. The county is applying for VDOT funding to cover half of the $13 million cost.

As for the 'Admission Tax' resolution, it's now on its way to Senator Carrico. The county hopes the issue will be taken up and approved in the next General Assembly, which will start in January.
 


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