Visit Farragut visits Rotary, touting the town

Tom KingFarragut

Visit Farragut visited the Rotary Club of Farragut Wednesday at the Farragut Community Center and the town of Farragut’s Tourism Manager Karen Tindal talked Farragut tourism – of course.

Sitting outside the Community Center was Visit Farragut’s cool

“Mobile Visitors Center.” As the official destination marketing entity for Farragut, its primary mission is to market Farragut’s nine hotels, its many restaurants, attractions like the popular new Top Golf and Cotton-Eyed Joe’s and other amenities in order to increase visitation to the town and region and raise tax revenues.

In 2022 those nine hotels accounted for $19 million in revenue and $550,000 in hotel tax fund for the town.

Tindal said the hotels have 725 rooms and more than 190,000 people slept in their beds in 2022. On weekends in 2022 they had 75% occupancy. “When you think about it that’s a big number considering how many people stay downtown,” Tindal said.

And two more hotels are under construction.

“I was at Top Golf on a Friday afternoon and I can tell you that there were a lot of golfers there who were not working. And there’s a lot more to Top Golf than golf.”

If you do not know Tindal, she has been with the town of Farragut since 2018 and was promoted to her current position in April 2022. Prior to the promotion she was the town’s tourism coordinator. Karen is a 1989 graduate of the University of Virginia with a bachelor’s degree in American history.
She has worked at the YMCA of East Tennessee for 31 years as a group exercise instructor (now part-time).

She said that Tennessee ranks 11th in travel spending nationally and Knox County is fourth in the state rankings.

In their day-to-day world, Tindal and her team – Hallie Riddle, tourism program administrator, and Kristi Vining, who works in the office – spend their time promoting local businesses, connecting Farragut businesses to one another and marketing what they offer visitors and the community.

You also can see them at local businesses presenting a “tabling event” where they do person-to-person marketing and answering all kinds of questions, including how to pronounce “Sevierville” – “It’s not Severville,” she said.

Visit Farragut has a hefty marketing presence at McGhee Tyson Airport plus brochures, maps and its attractive website to inform and guide visitors. They also conduct four town tours a year. The next one is on Wednesday, August 9, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and you can sign up here  or call 865-966-7057 for more information.

Tom King is a career journalist and a past president of the Rotary Club of Farragut. If you want more information about Rotary or are interested in attending a meeting or joining, please email Tom. The club meets every Wednesday at 12:15 p.m. at Fox Den Country Club.


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