Cedar Point reopens with new water, long-term management

Posted on Tuesday, April 29, 2014 at 11:09 am

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Staff Writer
John Coffelt

After several years of opening and closing, the management at Cedar Point Campground, on the north shore of Normandy Reservoir, has settled into a long-term contract and eyeing future expansion.

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Cedar Point assistant manager Michael Penny does a morning walk through after the campgrounds on the north side of Normandy Reservoir opened last week.
Staff photos by John Coffelt

“We plan on doing the same thing that we did in [other campgrounds], putting in a general store, boat docks, boat rentals, bass boat rentals, canoe rentals,” said assistant manager Michael Penny, who runs the site with his wife, Tiffine.

The TVA recently signed a 30-year contract with Recreation Resource Management, Inc., based out of Phoenix, Ariz.

Michael Penny said that if the revenue pans out, the improvements should all be in place within three to five years.

“Our company manages about 110 campgrounds nationwide.  It manages a lot of U.S. Forest Service campgrounds and five TVA campgrounds, four of which are in Tennessee.”

According to the TVA, there has been a pretty substantial push to reopen the site.

“TVA feels it is important to be responsive to the interest of the public as our reservoirs are open for the enjoyment of everyone,” said Scott Brooks, TVA public relations. “We know there was a lot of interest in reopening the campground to serve the northern side of Normandy Reservoir. We believe the current agreement and improvements made will have a positive impact on the recreation opportunities at Normandy.”

Brooks explained that the TVA had to reclaim Cedar Point several years ago.

“We leased it to an operator in 1999-2000, and in 2007-2008, we responded to increasing complaints about fights, drug activity and general lack of upkeep at the facility.”

As a result, the TVA stepped in to close it in 2009.

According to Brooks, “It sat vacant for a number of years, during which TVA received lots of request and interest from the public in reopening the campground to serve the north side of the reservoir.”

RRM, which also leases Barton Springs campgrounds, opened Cedar Point in 2012 for a trial period.

“The campground closed again for 2013 so that RRM and TVA could make major improvements to the water treatment system. That new system was just permitted by the state last week,” Brooks said.

Penny explained that the new water system, located closer to the campsites, is an ultraviolet and carbon filter system.

“We tore down the whole old water system and built a brand new water treatment center.”

The site received a county heath department score of a 100 in addition to the state certification.

Open and ready

for business

Walking among tidy campsites, one can hardly imagine that the place has spent a year closed.

Penny said that the staff has worked hard to get the site open and even had to delay opening.

“We opened late, because we couldn’t get everything done by our March 15 opening date.”

The site will remain open through Nov. 15. Cedar Point is classified as a seasonal campground.

Long term camping is available with or without electricity and camp side water. Lots are located on and away from the waterfront.

“We’re going to put sand on the day use area and make more water and electric available.”

Pavilions are available to rent. Ice cream, firewood, ice and other supplies are for sale at the check-in station.

Penny, who lives onsite, said that he enjoys being outdoors and is excited to get to know the campers.

For more information, call (931) 857-3705. The park is located at 1659 Cedar Point Rd.

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