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$20 million investment announced for Coffee Ridge Resort

Contributed Photo • The Hatleys look over markups for their planned Coffee Ridge Resort.

By Richard Rourk

The Joint Economic and Community Development Board of Unicoi County as well as representatives from Unicoi County government, the Town of Unicoi and the Town of Erwin celebrated a joint effort and an investment of nearly $20 million into a resort that will be located in southern Unicoi County.

Named Coffee Ridge Resort by owners David and Deborah Hatley, the facility will offer rental cabins and amenities in a luxury atmosphere surrounded by the beautiful Appalachian Mountains

“We are thrilled to bring one of the most luxurious resorts in our nation to Unicoi County,” said Deborah Hatley at a gathering Friday, Nov. 5, to officially announce the planned resort. 

“Coffee Ridge will be an all-inclusive, couples-only resort, offering a high-end tailor-made experience for couples to connect with nature and ultimately each other,” she added.

“Coffee Ridge will celebrate an ultra-modern design throughout the property while focusing on sustainability,” Deborah Hatley said. “We look forward to fostering growth in the area and showcasing our region’s beautiful characteristics.”

Even through the unforeseen instability caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, several parties worked diligently to deliver the investment to Unicoi County. Through partnerships with several agencies, one of the most significant tourism investments in Unicoi County in recent years has now been realized. 

“We are glad to see continued investment in the tourism sector in Unicoi County,” said JECDB Chairman Lee Brown. “Investments such as this will continue to strengthen our local economy.”

 The Hatleys said that they knew that Unicoi County was the perfect locale for this unique resort. 

“We decided to invest into Unicoi county for its natural authenticity and connection you receive to the region’s beauty,” Deborah Hatley told The Erwin Record. 

“Flag Pond is quite unknown for many people across the map and we believe that’s what will help make Coffee Ridge so unique,” she added. “It’s truly a slice of heaven.”

Hatley noted that she and her husband feel very blessed and excited to bring a concept like Coffee Ridge to the area. 

“Our region is simply stunning, and we believe it’s craving a resort that truly showcases it on an ultimate luxury level. We want to break the standard mindset of your typical cabin with ultra-modern designs and something that’s unprecedented to the normal that we see.”

The Hatleys hope to finish construction on the resort by October 2023.

“We will begin to break ground in January 2022,” announced Deborah Hatley. “We will be pressing hard and plan to be at full completion and ready for our guests October 2023.”

“I know that this investment in tourism by regional entrepreneurs goes to prove that people across the country and around the world have confidence in Unicoi County’s beautiful natural environment and its draw for tourists,” said Tyler Engle, executive director of the Joint Economic and Community Development Board of Unicoi County. “We are grateful to all parties for continuing to build a robust, balanced economy.  I’m appreciative of our partners on behalf of the people of Unicoi County.”