Cost 'overruns' for Fall Creek Falls inn replacement soar by $11 million

This rendering designed by Earl Swensson Associates shows the future Fall Creek Falls State Park Inn. The facility will feature lodging, a restaurant and conference center in Tennessee's largest and most visited state park (Contributed rendering/TDEC).

NASHVILLE - There's a multimillion-dollar surprise in the Tennessee House's just-passed 2019-2020 state budget and it's not good news for lovers of Fall Creek Falls State Park, as well as residents of the remote Upper Cumberland Plateau community where the park sits.

A Lee administration budget provision includes $11 million to cover "cost overruns" for construction of the new inn, restaurant and conference center at the park near Spencer, Tennessee.

It's causing the total costs for building the $29.4 million, 95,000-square-foot replacement facilities to soar by more than one third to $40.4 million.

photo This rendering designed by Earl Swensson Associates shows the future Fall Creek Falls State Park Inn. The facility will feature lodging, a restaurant and conference center in Tennessee's largest and most visited state park (Contributed rendering/TDEC).