Rick Dover, Knoxville entrepreneur and Family Pride Corporation leader, is proud to share that Gov. Bill Haslam has expressed his support of the development of the Alexander Inn into an assisted living center.
Q: Why has Gov. Haslam thrown his support behind this project?
Rick Dover, Knoxville entrepreneur: Gov. Haslam has always worked to support projects that fulfill two needs: preserving the past and offering new opportunities for the future. Haslam has noted that the Alexander Inn project is a prime example for other communities throughout the United States. Knox Heritage along with the ETPA have submitted a nomination for the Historic Preservation Award in honor of the hotel.
Q: What makes the Alexander Inn such a treasured spot, in your opinion?
Rick Dover, Knoxville entrepreneur: Knox Heritage sees the vast potential of this location for a number of reasons. Formerly known around town as the Guest House, the Alexander Inn had been one of the original buildings in the Manhattan Project. It first opened its doors in 1943.
Q: What purpose did the Alexander Inn originally serve?
Rick Dover, Knoxville entrepreneur: The community of Oak Ridge was tasked with developing the first atomic weapons in the world as part of the Manhattan Project. During its heyday, guests of the hotel included notable public figures such as Gen. Leslie Groves and physicist Enrico Fermi. Unfortunately, the building disintegrated over the last 20 years and required an extensive preservation effort.
Q: When will the conversion process of the hotel be completed?
Rick Dover, Knoxville entrepreneur: This project should close sometime in 2014. By creating 40 new jobs, the assisting living center is expected to have a considerable economic impact. Early estimates indicate that the total amount could be $2.7 million. To our knowledge, the Alexander Inn is the very first project in this region for East Tennessee Preservation Alliance.