Ancient Lore Village injects reality into fantasy

Betsy PickleOur Town Leaders

A bit more ancient, a little less lore and a lot more village: That’s how the mission of Ancient Lore Village at Boyd Hollow has evolved.

The themed luxury resort envisioned by businessman Tom Boyd has been flying under the radar lately, but that changed Monday night with a presentation by Matthew Cross, CEO of Boyd Hollow Resorts Inc., arranged by the South Knoxville Alliance. The presentation at Woodlawn Christian Church was open to the public but drew a surprisingly small turnout, considering passionate meetings about the topic held earlier in the year.

Matthew Cross talks about how different Ancient Lore Village will be from other luxury resorts.

Cross debuted the project’s new logo and showed photographs of the nine different styles of “homes” planned for “houseguests” who choose the “very unique experience” of visiting Ancient Lore Village.

What began as a fantasy-world hostelry based on a self-published book by Boyd is now looking at a broad-based market factoring in real-world business scenarios.

But that doesn’t mean creativity has flown out the window.

The 150 dwellings reflect the new logo, which in turn alludes to the tenets of the development: community, peace and quiet, a place of joy.

“There’s a lot of intent and design that went into this,” Cross said. “Village is the largest word in the logo. And it’s meant to show that people and community, interacting with a family, interacting with strangers, is what we’re all about.

“Ancient is meant to harken back to the good old days – the rose-tinted glasses we have to a nostalgic childhood; whether or not those days were actually better, we all feel that they were.

“And Lore, the smallest word, represents how we feel about fantasy as a concept, about the technology we’re going to utilize, about the amenities in general. All of those things are designed as a means to an end: to get people to interact, to feel playful, and to enjoy a very unique experience at Ancient Lore Village at Boyd Hollow.”

Some of the technology Cross described – introduced by partner Infinite Kingdoms – sounds magical. And fun.

Each dwelling style is designed to appeal to different guests: families with young children, with older children, with grandchildren; couples; empty-nesters; eco-tourists and nature lovers; bridal parties; fantasy fans.

Cross said the goal of getting families to spend time with each other and having guests interact hasn’t changed. And there still won’t be TVs in the guest dwellings. However, there will be optional Wi-Fi, which can be controlled and limited by parents.

One of the amenities will be a book and board-game library. Others will include ice-cream churning, bread-making classes, lawn games, breakfast in bed, stargazing, yoga classes and gardening sessions. And yes, there will be a spa and a luxury lounge.

Meanwhile, ALV is looking at how traditional hotels stay busy year-round and making plans accordingly.

The only areas that will be open to the public are the restaurant and gift shop. However, Cross said they still plan to have public tours to give locals a chance to look things over. The October 2019 weekend tours will be ticketed, with proceeds benefiting local charities.

In 2020, they are planning a “settler program” to allow guests to stay in the rooms before the grand opening, which should follow soon afterward.

Although Cross never used the word “if,” everything hinges on zoning. The development is proceeding on land zoned residential, and it will need to win approval from Knoxville-Knox County Planning to change to commercial.

Cross said they received permits to construct a prototype dwelling, but they haven’t filed a request to go before the planning commission yet. Construction of the prototype began April 22 and is expected to be finished in August.

At this point, they have purchased 67 acres of land and have more than 70 people engaged in design and development. Nixon Road is expected to be the primary entrance, and they plan to use part of their own land to widen the rural road.

The development will have KUB sewer connections.

Cross said the resort will employ 206, and there will be a job fair some weeks before the opening. However, many have already started submitting resumes to

The development’s teaser map

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